Go to contents

OK for Overseas Pro-Democracy Activists` Entry into Korea Without NIS Inquiry

OK for Overseas Pro-Democracy Activists` Entry into Korea Without NIS Inquiry

Posted September. 05, 2003 23:16,   


The government has reportedly decided to allow 61 overseas Koreans who have been banned from entering the country for their pro-North Korean activities to enter without being investigated by the national security authorities.

˝Recently, there was discussion on ways to restore the reputation between me and overseas pro-democracy activist Choi Byung-mo, chairman of Minbyun--lawyers for a democratic society,˝ said a senior government official on Sept 5. ˝At the meeting, I conveyed the government’s intention to allow the entry of some 61 overseas pro-democracy activists into the nation. Only Song Doo-yul, Chung Kyung-mo, and Kim Young-moo were not granted permission.˝

A Cheong Wa Dae official also echoed the senior government official’s remark by saying, ˝There has been discussion on such matters between the National Intelligence Service and the Justice Ministry. Except for the three figures who are required to undergo necessary inquiries, the other 61 overseas Koreans may not find difficulty in getting permission to enter Korea.˝

Against this backdrop, members of HanTonglyun (the Federation of Korean Residents in Japan for Korean Democracy and Reunification) can expect to visit South Korea without facing legal charges and inquiries by the nation’s intelligence agency.

Furthermore, Lee Soo-ja, widow of German-based composer Yoon I-sang, is reportedly on the list of overseas Koreans who will be allowed to visit Korea. The NIS has, however, taken a tough stance on Song Doo-yul, saying that it cannot guarantee an investigation against him without physical detention.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com