TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Seoul May Ban North Korea College Web Site

Seoul May Ban North Korea College Web Site

Lisa Minter (
Sat, 13 Nov 2004 16:26:36 EST

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea may ban access to a Web site of North
Korea's Kim Il-sung University to stop the communist state's ideology
from spreading among the South's Internet-savvy young, an official
said on Friday.

The move comes amid squabbles in South Korea's parliament over
scrapping or revising the National Security Law that restricts
contacts with the north. The issue has taken on a bitter ideological
tone because North Korea has consistently demanded repeal of the act.

"We have received an official request from police to ban access to the
Web site and referred the case to an ethics committee," Chung
Dae-soon, an Information Ministry official in charge of the case, said
by telephone.

"If the committee concludes it violates the security law, we would ban
access soon," he added.

The Korean-language Web site ( offers
distance learning and replaces 42 years of educational radio
broadcasts, the JoongAng Daily newspaper reported.

The site features animated pictures but is a far cry from jazzy South
Korean sites and lists courses on the country's ideology and leaders.

Kim Il-sung, the late North Korean leader, mixed Marxism and
ultra-nationalism to form his country's go-it-alone Juche ideology. He
founded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948 and ruled it
unchallenged until his death in July 1994.

In the first communist dynastic succession, his son Kim Jong-il
inherited power from his father, who has been named "Eternal

"The Web site is unilaterally cramming young netizens with Juche
ideology which runs counter to public sentiment," said a police
official who declined to be named.

"We need to block access to resources of one-sided information or
knowledge which ordinary people can obtain easily."

Police had asked the government to block 31 North
Korean-related Web sites, he added.

The South's president, Roh Moo-hyun, wants to scrap or revise the
security law, saying it is a relic of the country's 1970s and 1980s
military dictatorships.

But the conservative opposition argues the law is still needed because
North Korea has never renounced its goal of overthrowing the South by
force -- as Pyongyang tried to do when it invaded in 1950, sparking
the three-year Korean War.

South and North Korea are still technically at war since the conflict
ended in armed truce without a peace treaty.

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