Korean activities on fusion licensing and safety studies have been going through three phases. The first phase started with the licensing of the Korean Superconductor Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) classified as a radiation-generating device on the basis of the existing nuclear regulations. To accommodate the specific characteristics of a tokamak device that is to use deuterium in fusion plasma physics studies, a set of instructions to examine the safety of KSTAR and to approve an operating permit were developed and issued by the regulatory body, Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety. The second phase is being investigated for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). To verify the design of the test blanket module that will be installed and tested in the ITER, safety studies were carried out using the experimental results and computational codes. To minimize occupational irradiation damages, a study on the tritium behaviors is being carried out as Korea will provide a part of the tritium systems of ITER. The last phase has initiated to recognize significant safety issues and to support future licensing process for a fusion DEMO plant. Relevant studies are being carried out in collaboration with the academies funded by the National Fusion Research Institute of Korea. These front-end studies include the conceptual analysis on the safety and radiological consequences, preliminary studies on the layout of research, and on the future regulatory requirements of the fusion DEMO plant. This paper summarizes these activities on fusion safety with the findings of the front-end studies to date. It also proposes a pathway for the novel licensing process of a fusion DEMO plant with the tokamak concept.