Go to contents

Foreign Press Reported Detention against Major Stock Holders of Press

Foreign Press Reported Detention against Major Stock Holders of Press

Posted August. 20, 2001 09:02,   


International press reported the arrest of the 3 Korean press owners yesterday. Some medias indicated the possibility of accelerated conflicts in the press and the political circles. Particularly, a Japanese press reported the press suppression by the Korean government in the past.

The Mainichi reported the prosecutors` investigation and the cases of the press suppression by the Korean government on it`s headline and the explanatory article in the third page. In particular, the newspaper described the merger and abolition of the press conducted by the former president Chun Du-Hwan`s administration, explaining ``the Korean government in the past has controlled the critical newspapers by the tax probe.``

The Mainichi also indicated that `the suspect about the press` tax probe has become a hot potato at the time facing the presidential election next year. However, some press companies and TVs emphasized the just and the fairness of the tax probe and criticized the arrested owners of press companies.

The Asahi reported that ``by the tax investigation, the Korean major newspapers and the Kim Dae-Jung administration have extremely confronted each other.``

Asahi also raised the question as to why the government conducted the tax probe at the end of the administration after it had remained still during the early stages of the government. The Asahi also pointed out that ``it seems odd that the government announced all media companies as suspicious of the tax evasion but some of them are eliminated from the list.``

The Yomiuri reported, ``the detention of the press owners by the prosecutors maximized the confrontation between `the ruling party and the government` and `the opposing party and the press`, The Korean economy facing the presidential election at the end of next year is anticipated to be influenced by the confrontation.``

The New York Times also reported that three persons including two owners of the Korean newspapers were restrained with the charge of tax evasion and the embezzlement. ``Korean major newspapers asserted that the President restrained the press owners in order to control the criticisms on the `engagement policy,` NYT described.`` The New York Times also analyzed that, ``as the next presidential election approaches, the confrontation between the government and the press is expected to be more serious.``

CNN also reported that the custody of the major press owners ignited the disputes on the true motivation of the tax probe by the government which had suffered the decreased support of the people.

The British Public TV, BBC, reported that three press owners were under detention now by the issue of the arrest warrant by the court and introduced the opinion that the government tried to suppress the press freedom of some major newspapers that had stood against the government.

Lee Young-Ee yes202@donga.com