I'm native Korean and have lived in the U.S. and Canada for fourteen years. I now work as a Korean English translator.
There have been a few serious incidents where I was offended and maybe a few more where I offended others. In hindsight, I don't think most of them were intentionally meant to be offensive. We simply didn't understand well enough about each other. On the next few posts, I'd like to list a few things that can be considered rude in Korea while they are assumed harmless or even friendly in North America. Thinking a bit more about this issue than my fellow Koreans did some positive impact on me as a Korean translator.
Korea is, by North American standard, one of the most conservative countries you can find in terms of social values. She has a history of five thousand years, and along the way we learned and developed our own unique way to interact with people.