Go to contents

Economic Internet Pundit `Minerva` Arrested

Posted January. 09, 2009 07:27,   


Prosecutors took into custody yesterday a man believed to be an Internet pundit who stirred up controversy in the wake of the U.S.-led financial crisis by posting economic predictions. He was also called “an economy president” by netizens.

A 30-year-old man "Park," who has posted writings under the pseudonym "Minerva" on the discussion forum Agora on Korea’s second-largest portal Daum, is undergoing questioning, the Seoul Central District Court said.

"Park confessed to writing about 100 posts under the pseudonym Minerva online,” a prosecutor said.

Upon completion of the investigation, prosecutors will apply for an arrest warrant against Park on the charge of spreading false rumors.

On one post, Park said he worked for a securities company and was living overseas. He turned out to be a college graduate with no full-time job, gaining his economics knowledge on his own through books.

Park is suspected of having circulated groundless rumors through the Internet. One said the government had sent memorandums urging withhold of dollar purchases to seven major financial institutions and exporters.

The writing was posted Dec. 29 last year under the title “Emergency Notice No. 1 to the Government.”

On this, the Strategy and Finance Ministry immediately called the charge groundless.

In late November last year, Minerva put up a post denouncing former President Kim Young-sam for criticizing his successor Kim Dae-jung.

Minerva had been widely believed to be a man in his early 50s. Prosecutors are also investigating the rumor that a group of people posted writings using the alias of Minerva.