I'd be interested in answers people get from other consulate/embassy
staff both from locations other than Boston and with different
phrasings of the question.
Well, I finally was able to talk to someone at the Washington, DC, embassy.
Their answer? "We're not sure, but you might need one".
I basically took the same tactic that Sam took; I described the IETF as
a professional organization, and explained I was attending a meeting
of this organization. At first he said that a visa was not required,
because this counts as a "visit", but then he said he wasn't sure, and
maybe I would need a visa.
I then started asking a few more questions. I asked what exactly
"business" travel was defined as, and after going around a few times
about it, he basically settled on the definition that if you were
travelling to Korea to a meeting for a "business purpose", then you
need a visa.
The whole thing was as clear as mud, and he clearly wasn't that familiar
with the regulations. I might try calling a few more consulates to
see if I can find someone more knowledgeable.
BTW, has anyone been able to contact the host web site? (The one
linked off of the IETF Seoul meeting web page)
I've been trying for a few days now and no go. It doesn't seem like
a local network problem from where I'm sitting, but sometimes it's hard
to be sure.