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Yoon stresses the importance of combating fake news

Posted March. 30, 2023 08:12,   

Updated March. 30, 2023 08:12


President Yoon Suk Yeol has expressed concern that the spread of fake news via online platforms poses a threat to democracy and freedom. “Misinformation and demagogy distort decision-making by individuals and break down fundamental instruments of democracy, namely elections,” President Yoon said on Wednesday.

In an introductory remark on the leader-level plenary on democracy delivering economic growth and shared prosperity at the second Summit for Democracy, President Yoon criticized the outright contestation of international order by authoritarian regimes and the rise of false democracy characterized by anti-intellectualism across the globe. “Democracy, which has brought freedom and prosperity to many people, is faced with a grave challenge,” President Yoon said. The South Korean president strongly advocated the importance of combating fake news and the design of digital norms in defense of democracy back in December 2022 at the luncheon with scholars from the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Korea. The Summit for Democracy was held in a virtual format, and President Yoon joined the gathering from Yeongbingwan, the state reception hall of Cheong Wa Dae.

“Globally, powers seeking to upend the status quo pose a threat to freedom. Geopolitical conflicts and rivalry over profits together led to the segmentation of the global community and the weakening of multilateral cooperation,” President Yoon commented on global political landscape. “The Republic of Korea that defended freedom with the help of the global community 70 years ago is fulfilling our role and responsibility as a ‘freedom facilitator’ of the world. We will closely cooperate with the global community to give strong support for solidarity in firm defense of democracy,” President Yoon stressed.

The second Summit for Democracy, led by the U.S., is co-hosted by the governments of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, the Republic of Zambia, and the Republic of Korea. Some 120 countries will participate in the second Summit, with an increase of 10 countries from the first Summit. South Korea will host a gathering on the theme of challenges and progress in addressing corruption representing the Indo-Pacific region.

President Biden will highlight collective action of democratic countries against China and Russia. As Taiwan was invited to the second Summit, China is likely to resist.

Ahead of the Summit, President Yoon and U.S. President Joe Biden announced in a joint statement that South Korea will host the third Summit for Democracy. In the joint statement, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the shared democratic values and respect for human rights, rooted in deep bonds of solidarity, and promised to further strengthen political, economic, and security partnership as well as people-to-people ties. “The democracy of the Republic of Korea is a powerful light in the Indo-Pacific region,” President Biden said in the joint statement.

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com