&#91EDITORIALS&#93Remove pro-North Web file

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[EDITORIALS]Remove pro-North Web file

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions must shut down its pro-Pyeongyang Internet bulletin board that contains movie files praising the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and the incumbent strongman, Kim Jong-il. The militant umbrella union reopened the board only nine days after voluntarily shutting it down. The movie file is classified as “anti-state” material under the National Security Law, and it could be part of Pyeongyang’s political propaganda that exploits cyberspace as a tool, or an anti-state maneuver by an internal dissident group.
The confederation claims the movie file will remain on the board to allow users to make their own evaluations through free discussion. But it is irresponsible to allow the provocative material to be available to Internet users, which include a considerable number of teenagers and young adults who may be easily influenced. Through such sites as Chosun Info Bank and the National Democratic Front of South Korea, the North has expanded its propaganda offensive into cyberspace, calling the Internet “a special stage where the National Security Law is powerless and a weapon for us like the guns of the anti-Japanese fighters during the occupation.” Therefore, it does not make sense that the anti-censorship committee which is organized by 55 civic groups, including the confederation, has refused the Korea Communications Commission’s request to remove the movie clip from the site.
There is no country on Earth that tolerates political propaganda aiming to destroy the state system. What kind of citizen embraces such propaganda on the grounds of rights to free expression or ideology?
The government’s lukewarm attitude is also problematic. The National Intelligence Service, the prosecutors, and the police must track down the initial user who posted the movie file, as well as punish the manager of the Web site for possible violation of the law. The commission’s non-binding request is a gesture to please the North, and is a dereliction of its duty. The government also needs to prepare guidelines for the posting of materials related to the North.

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