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Roh’s Suggestion for Unrestricted Access to Pro-Kim Jung Il Sites Violates Law

Roh’s Suggestion for Unrestricted Access to Pro-Kim Jung Il Sites Violates Law

Posted October. 01, 2007 03:08,   

한국어

President Roh hinted a couple of days ago that his administration would no longer block access to pro-Kim Jung Il websites. Various groups and citizens voice concern over his hint, and the police now are voicing the same concern.

Top police officials worry that Roh’s action could render it impossible to punish anyone who threatens the national security.

A senior police officer in charge of an anti-espionage unit said on the condition of anonymity, “Right now, we can punish an individual who copies and posts North Korean propaganda on the Internet. When everyone can access the propagandizing sites, how can we prosecute them?”

He continued, “When it becomes legal to subscribe to North Korean sites, the National Security Act does not apply and we lose our legal grounds.”

Most officers oppose any measure to allow access to pro-Kim Jung Il sites. They point to the closed nature of the sites as the grounds for their objection.

According to the officers, the pro-Pyongyang sites never allow visitors to post opinions or content. In other words, it’s one-way communication and carries a high risk of distortion. They say, “If our citizens could express their opinions freely on the sites, it would be OK to let them access the sites.”

Furthermore, another senior police officer explained, insisting on anonymity, “Roh’s suggestion, if put into practice, violates the National Security Act. The act should be revised or repealed before we allow full access to North Korean propaganda sites.”

Roh also implied that his administration would allow access to pro-Pyongyang communist sites for academic purposes. Experts, however, argue that “academic access” is already possible and that its channels are wide open.

A government source explained, “Anybody can review the content of the sites with a little technical help. The National Security Act does not apply here. It’s 100 percent possible and legal as of now.”

According to the police, the number of pro-Kim Jung Il sites subject to police censorship amount to 73 in number, and are based mostly in the United States and Japan.



surono@donga.com