A chef displays some whale chobap (sushi) at the Ulsan Whale Festival (울산고래축제). I first heard of this three minutes ago via East Windup Chronicle. Ulsan does, as Shinsano says, have a conflicted relationship with whaling. It is illegal, one the one hand, but it has been a part of the city's culture for quite a while, dating back to some cave paintings. Here's a picture of a reenactment from 2007.
It comes from a Joongang Ilbo article from January, 2008, which is my favorite example of this ambivalence. The opening paragraph:
Eating whale meat here can be an unsettling experience.
The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling worldwide in 1986. That means, according to law, restaurants in Ulsan are only allowed to serve whale meat that has been caught “by accident” in fishing nets or washed up on shore already dead.
The informative piece on Ulsan's history as a whaling port closes with recommendations for whale restaurants.
For whale meat, check out Wonjo Gorae Matjip (052-261-5060), or The Original Whale Deli, which charges 30,000 won ($32). The better known whale meat restaurant is Gorae Halmaejip (052-265-9558), or Whale Grannie’s House. The menu includes whale stew.
A cheaper option is to buy whale meat in Joongang Market in central Ulsan, but be ready to compromise on sanitation.
For the record I don't have any problem with hunting whales for meat; certainly no worse than slaughtering them for oil, as the US once did, and provided the hunting is done responsibly among species that are not endangered, I see no difference between hunting whales and other wild animals. With regards to whaling in Korea, and certainly in Japan where it gets much more heat from the international community, I see the objections largely because the practice is rendered exotic to and by westerners, as a backwards and barbaric practice that is supposed to be less civilized than the hunting done in their own countries.
In some ways it's no different from dog meat in Korea, and indeed the title and the opening picture of raw meat is a much more sensational introduction than, say, a cave drawing would have been, and is the kind of thing people are looking for when they hear of whaling in Korea. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a soft spot in my heart for dogs over other animals, but my objection to eating dog meat, and this objection is echoed by many other foreigners, is because of the way these animals are treated and tortured. However, when people look down their noses at Asians for eating dog---and all Asians eat dog, or so the ignorant stereotypes would have you believe---it's because these animals are considered part of the family, unlike the chickens, cows, pigs, deer, fish, or other animals we consume in massive quantities. Although Wikipedia has a fairly sizable run-down of the arguments for and against whaling, I suspect in the minds of many people, it doesn't get down to anything more sophisticated than "those people eat whale?!?!?"