The Korean mobile phone market is currently dominated by local manufacturers, including LG and Samsung.
Apart from the protectionism suspected in some quarters, one of the barriers to the iPhone's debut was the need to get clearance for the handset's location-based services including maps and the Find My iPhone feature.
Two carriers - KT and SK Telecom - are known to be planning to sell the iPhone in South Korea. According to some reports, KT may be first out of the gate by starting iPhone sales as early as October.
It seems unlikely that the third carrier will follow suit, as it is part of the LG conglomerate.