SOUTH KOREANS have been forbidden to make contact with North Koreans via the Internet. Prosecutors in Seoul say anybody who accesses North Korean web pages or distributes information from the North on their personal computers will be punished. The state invoked Chapter 2, Article 7, of the National Security Law which bans the admiration of anti-state groups and forbids unauthorised contacts with North Korea.
The state warning was prompted by a report in the South Korean newspaper Chungang Ilbo. It describes the appearance of a page on the World Wide Web showing a portrait of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. The newspaper warns: "Teens and college students who are exposed to the site may blindly accept the North Korean idea. Steps to prevent ideological pollution are urgently required."
The page is the work of David Burgess, a Canadian student, who visited North Korea in 1995 and used airline pamphlets to compile it. He says he has been inundated with requests to confirm that he is a North Korean agent.
The Web page that attracted the South Korean authorities' attention has now been removed from the server that Mr Burgess used at the University of Sasketchawan, but a number of other North Korean pages devised by the student remain. Mr Burgess says that an "official" North Korean page will be posted soon.
Last modified: Thursday, 20-Jun-1996 15:27:23 EDT