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Attacks on the Press in 1996 - South Korea

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - South Korea, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5651723.html [accessed 25 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The South Korean government appeared content to allow the continued growth of a free press that began after South Korea's return to elected civilian rule in 1993, after three decades of successive military-backed governments, and made few overt attempts to stem critical reporting. One notable exception was the Justice Ministry's refusal in February to renew the visa of Australian Financial Review correspondent Bruce Cheesman, who had written an unflattering biography of President Kim Young Sam, as well as several articles that were critical of Kim. In an effort to control coverage of North Korea, Kim's government announced in September that it would begin strictly enforcing the National Security Law (NSL), which provides for prison terms of up to seven years for those who "praise" or "benefit" North Korea, or engage in other ill-defined "anti-state" activities. The announcement followed a massive police crackdown on left-leaning students at Seoul's Yonsei University.

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