[KS] Censorship in democratic Korea

Robert Armstrong chonan99 at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 9 19:58:27 EDT 2004

I am a little surprised at Mr. Burgeson's comment:

"It also seems that if you do not follow the government's new romanization 
system online, you can even be fined!"

I write a column for the Korea Times (Choson Through Western Eyes - 
shameless plug, I know) and have noticed that the Korea Times intentionally 
does not follow the government's romanization system - it seems to me that 
if the Korean government was going to go after the small internet sites the 
Korea Times would have been fined out of existence.

Robert Neff

>From: "J.Scott Burgeson" <jsburgeson at yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: Korean Studies Discussion List <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
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>Subject: Re: [KS] Censorship in democratic Korea
>Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 01:02:24 -0700 (PDT)
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>    A letter in Friday's Korea Herald and an article in
>Friday's JoongAng Daily report that dozens of
>Korean-based foreigner-made blogs have had their
>access shut down by the ROK government. The excuse by
>the government is that a foreiger's Web site here had
>had the Kim Sun-il video clip posted on it and that
>this was an infringement of citizens' right to
>happiness, since they could suffer trauma by seeing
>the video. Indiscriminate blocking of an entire
>category of Web sites simply because they are run by
>foreigners seems like a slash-and-burn approach to
>regulating free speech to me, or perhaps is, quite
>ironically, an appropriation of George W. Bush's
>doctrine of "pre-emption."
>    One might also note that access to adult sites in
>public PC bangs is blocked to all customers in South
>Korea regardless of age, and if you are a foreigner
>you cannot access them anywhere without a national ID
>number, which also smacks of indirect censorship. It
>also seems that if you do not follow the government's
>new romanization system online, you can even be fined!
>    Along with bans on assorted North Korean Web sites,
>it seems that nationalism and morality clearly trump
>free speech in the South Korea of 2004. But this is
>not exactly earth-shattering news, is it?
>    --Scott Bug
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