13 July 2000


State radio threatens to "blow up" South Korean newspaper "Chosun Ilbo"

Incident details



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(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to the secretary of propaganda of the North Korean Workers' Party, Kim Ki-Nam, RSF expressed its concern about threats broadcast on North Korean state radio against the South Korean daily "Chosun Ilbo". RSF called on him to ensure that "this threatening campaign against 'Chosun Ilbo' stops", and "those responsible for the threats will be sanctioned". Robert Ménard, the press freedom organisation's secretary-general, said: "This threatening campaign will only hamper the unification process between the two countries."

According to information collected by RSF, official station Radio Pyongyang broadcast an item on 8 July 2000 titled "This newspaper of tricks that goes against the flow of unification must be tamed!" The radio station labelled the daily "Chosun Ilbo" "anti-Communist", "opposed to unification" and "anti-national". It called its journalists "confrontational maniacs", "liars" and "traitors". Finally, through the radio station, the authorities threatened to "blow up" the newspaper, published in Seoul, if no apology is forthcoming. On a previous occasion, in June 1997, North Korea threatened to order the bombing of the newspaper after the publication of an article entitled, "Kim Jung-Il must leave power" (see IFEX alert of 30 June 1997).


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