[KS] Censorship in democratic Korea

John Frankl jmfrankl at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jul 7 13:28:04 EDT 2004

Dear Brother Anthony,
Well said. I can only speak for myself but I am sure many others share your concern.
But as such a long-time resident are you truly surprised? I watched Prof. Ma Kwangsu basically dragged from a university lecture and straight to jail for writing fiction under the highly-touted first democratically elected president. Next came Kim Dae Jung who did exactly what with the National Security Law? And now we have another former dissident. Oh well.
I apologize if I appear overy cynical, but I find it hard to be otherwise in the face of the last few republics.
I look forward to others' replies.
John Frankl 

Brother Anthony <ansonjae at ccs.sogang.ac.kr> wrote:
I believe that those subscribing to this list should know that we who live in Korea are being prevented by
a government order from viewing North Korea Zone http://nkzone.typepad.com/nkzone/ a blogzone reporting on
NK and run by Rebecca Mackinnon at Harvard, Martyn Williams in Tokyo and Dr Lankov from Australian National
University. They are anything but apologists for that regime, as many will know.

This censorship, coming at a time when the GNP is reported to want to promote a law allowing South Koreans
to view legally North Korean internet sites, coincides with the government's continuing blocking of access
to any individual blog on all the main bloging sites worldwide, such as blogs.com, blogspot.com &
typepad.com, leaving millions of sites worldwide inaccessible to Koreans, including bloggers themselves
here. We are deprived of access to sites as various as Baghdad Burning (featured in a recent BBC Radio 4
programme "Letters from Iraq")
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/ Silliman's Blog http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/ FatMan Seoul
http://fatman-seoul.blogspot.com/ and zillions of others.

The government's aim, we are told, is to prevent anyone downloading and watching the beheading of the
unfortunate Korean victim of recent terror. At least 12 people have so far been arrested for sending this
clip to a friend or friends. It must be stressed that viewing and sharing video clips of the beheading of
any other (non-Korean) victim is not subject to any such restrictions.

I would like to think that under the presidency of a former 'human rights lawyer' something less akin to
dictatorship would prevail but the facts suggest otherwise. I would be grateful if anyone reading this and
in a position to influence events could point out to the Korean authorities that such actions do not
promote the best interests of the country, to put it mildly.

Brother Anthony
Sogang University, Seoul

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