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I've been to Korea, and I never felt unsafe when I was there. I wasn't in Seoul, so I can't say whether the big city is less safe, but in the smaller cities I was in, I was never too worried about becoming a crime victim.
I've been a lone woman traveller in S.Korea and I never had any problems going about Korea. There's no atmosphere or signs of impending doom :P. It's modern and people were helpful even though I didn't speak the language. I went to Pusan and Seoul. Also Japan is similar. Really they have lots in common, so it'd be strange to see them differently in terms of safety.
hello if you have a skype i will help you