The South Korea of yore had none of PSY's irony.
I grew up in Gangnam, the affluent Seoul neighborhood featured in South Korean rapper Psy's video (which has over 253 million hits as of this posting, more than the population of Indonesia. It has also entered the Guinness Book of World Records for most-liked YouTube video). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I witnessed Seoul's transformation from a grim, dangerously crowded place where all designer garments were counterfeit into a glamorous and rich global mega-city where -- as Psy shows -- people are fabulously well-dressed, but they still have to hang out in parking garages.
Irony is that special privilege of wealthy nations -- Aristophanes, possibly the world's first satirist, wrote his plays as Athens was becoming the dominant power in the region; Cervantes wrote at the height of Spain's naval wealth; and Alexander Pope was born the year that England defeated the Spanish Armada. First, one scrambles for wealth; then one luxuriates in mocking the effeteness that comes with it.
Thus "Gangnam Style" signals the emergence of irony in South Korea, meaning that the country has reached the final stage in any state's evolution. If you don't think that irony is a measure of eliteness, think of how annoyed you were the last time you were accused of not having any. Americans have told me that Asians have no irony; in Europe, where I last lived, I was told that Americans have none.