KOREA: Kim's execution video banned

The government and Internet portal sites said yesterday they would take stern measures against the possible spread on the Internet of the video showing the beheading of the Korean hostage

The Korea Herald
Thursday, June 24, 2004

By Jin Hyun-joo

The government and Internet portal sites said yesterday they would take stern measures against the possible spread on the Internet of the video showing the beheading of the Korean hostage.

An official for the Internet portal group Yahoo Korea said, "Considering Korean people's condolences toward the deceased, we are going to delete any pictures or video footage that show the killing of the Korean hostage."

The pan-Arab Al-Jazeera TV station yesterday aired the final minutes of the Korean hostage Kim Sun-il. The original version of the video sent to it included Kim's beheading, but Al-Jazeera did not air the killing, saying it could ignite anguish among viewers.

"As the beheading of the hostage was not aired, it is less likely that the footage would proliferate on the Internet as it did in the Nicholas Berg case. We are prepared for all possibilities, though," the Yahoo official said.

The tape, in which Nicholas Berg was beheaded in Iraq last month, was widely circulated on the Internet.

With its emergency monitoring system running for 24 hours, the Ministry of Information and Communication said it would advise Web sites to get rid of the clips as soon as they discovered them. "The Web sites that fail to follow through the instructions will be subject to shut-down or police investigation," an official at the ministry said.

"The current law dictates that the government is allowed to call for the revision of Web sites that have unsound or cruel content. On top of that, we will take strict measures, like prosecuting the operator of the Web site."

The ministry also foresees the distribution of the beheading footage on the Web sites abroad, and asked broadband carriers like KT Corp. and Hanaro Telecomm for their cooperation.

Korean hostage Kim, a 33-year-old employee of a Korean supply company working in Iraq was found dead on June 22 after Seoul refused to meet his kidnappers' demand to cancel its deployment of troops in Iraq.