No - however it is culturally acceptable for that person to punch back, and there's a good chance the person is mentally ill and will skip right to biting.
Subway and Public Transportation Etiquette - The People We Encounter - Page 49
Culturally inappropriate? Probably not too much. Inadvisable? Very.
In almost any confrontation between a Korean and a foreigner, the foreigner is the one arrested. Things might get eventually straightened out, or they might not. But at the scene, it's the foreigner in handcuffs. Three Koreans try and fight one white guy, the white guy gets arrested. I know an Italian here who was sexually assaulted. After she pepper sprayed her attacker, SHE was arrested. He, however, just had to give his ID number. Eventually everything was seen on CCTV by the police, and they decided it was a wash. As in...sexually assaulting a woman = getting pepper sprayed in the face...so neither one of them got in any sort of trouble, though she had to deal with the humiliation of getting arrested for defending herself.
Furthermore, a lot of Korean law with regards to physical confrontations comes down to who is hurt the most. Doesn't matter who started what, or if a person was defending himself...but if he defends himself successfully and the instigator is more injured, he will have to pay the instigator a sizable chunk of money.
There are a lot of awesome things about Korea; their justice system just isn't one of them. It's one of the most out of date institutions in this country (another example of this is that being drunk is a legal excuse). Fortunately, there is a growing awareness of this fact, and as the older generations retire, I suspect a lot of changes will be made.
Maybe if you didn't wear shoes you lovingly refer to as "skullcrushers" the folks won't be so frightened to see the wang behind the man behind the shoes.
Why is there no skullcrushing emoticon? This should be brought to someone's attention.
They probably at least pretended to pee (I mean, this guy didn't even unzip).
I don't know how such a fantastic thread fell out of rotation.
So call me a pleb, but I take a bus...they often go to within 50 yards of where I want to go, and the system is linked with the subway, so if I've taken the subway, the bus is free.
My bus driver today had a spittoon (buckets used to spit in, often dip, for those of us not raised in the South). He hawked his loogeys in there. When I first heard this, I thought he was just spitting on his floor. Gross enough as is. As the third and fourth phlegm bomb was expelled from his mouth, I became curious. Upon exiting, I discretely glimpsed at his feet to find a metal coffee container. I did not look inside, but given the lack of yellowish blobs at his feet, it's safe to assume that that container was filled with...with...uchhhhhhhhhhhhh