Yes. In fact one could argue they are more free than even the USA is. There is a much upvoted answer here saying that Korea is not a free country because all their presidents ran into issues. First of all, not all their presidents ran into corruption issues.
Korea only became a true democracy in 1987, prior to that it was a military dictatorship.
Kim Young-Sam was never arrested or charged with anything. He was just unpopular; alot of world leaders leave office unpopular.
Kim Dae-Jung was never arrested or charged with anything either.
Roh Moo-hyun was never arrested or charged with anything. Yes he committed suicide, but Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world – not like it was due to anything nefarious.
And Moon Jae-In so far has not committed any crimes or been charged with anything.
Second of all, the premise is faulty. it assumes that because so many Korean leaders had issues, that it means their country isn’t free. That doesn’t make any sense. What does that have anything to do with how free the people are? On the contrary – one of the great things about a free country is the ability to jail or incapacitate a leader should the people not like that leader. It shows how much power the people have. In this sense, Korea is the most successful democracy in the world.
Even the US has not been able to do this – Trump was impeached twice and never removed. Koreans were able to remove all their presidents who were corrupt and that’s key to a successful democracy.
In China guess what, Xi can do whatever he wants, he can hide the evidence, he can purge people he doesn’t like, and the people will never be able to remove him.
Which country is more free? The one who arrested numerous past Presidents who committed crimes or the one who has a laughing stock of a democratic process (USA) or the one who is essentially a dictatorship (China, Russia)?