중앙데일리

U.S. Pressing Seoul on Citizen Charged under Security Act

Mar 29,2001

NEW YORK - The detention last month of 56-year-old Song Hak-sam, a U.S. citizen on charges of having violated the National Security Law may evolve into a Korean-American diplomatic tangle, U.S. news media reported Wednesday.

NBC News reported that Mr. Song was arrested by the National Intelligence Service during a Seoul visit for having published in Korea a book entitled "Kim Jong-il's Unification Strategy" after a visit to North Korea.

The network reported that Amnesty International is carefully monitoring Mr. Song's case, and that Mr. Song's family, calling it a political case, is submitting petitions to U.S. politicians asking for his release. The U.S. Department of State has contacted the South Korean government, the network said. It said the U.S. government is making fervent efforts to protect Mr. Song.

New York's Newsday reported Mr. Song's detention and raised the question that the National Security Law may infringe on human rights. Korean-Americans rallied in front of the South Korean Consulate in New York on March 13, pressing for the release of Mr. Song.

The Seoul District Prosecutors Office announced Thursday that it would indict Mr. Song in early April.

An official at the office said, "Although Mr. Song is a U.S. citizen, it is only natural that he be punished if he has violated the National Security Law for having visited North Korea with the aim of opposing the government." He added, "there isn't any legal obstacle in indicting Mr. Song."





by Shin Joong-don




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