KOREA: Newspaper apologizes over nude Shin photos

Daily newspaper 'Munhwa Ilbo' publishes formal apology to the public on front page of Thursday's edition

The Korea Herald
Friday, October 19, 2007

By Shin Hae-in

Vernacular daily Munhwa Ilbo yesterday made a public apology for publishing nude photographs of Shin Jeong-ah, a former art professor accused of corruption.

Shin has been arrested for degree forgery and receiving dishonest government support through an indecent relationship with a senior presidential aide.

The paper published two nude pictures of Shin last month, alleging that she slept with high-profile figures to help her up the social ladder. The paper has been slammed by the public for infringing upon Shin's privacy and human rights.

"We apologize for causing social controversy after publishing nude pictures of Shin Jeong-ah," the paper said in a notice on the front page of yesterday's edition.

"We made the decision of publication believing that the public's right to know must come first," it went on. "But we have caused concern in our readers, regardless of our intentions. We promise to make more effort in protecting human rights in the future."

Investigations by the prosecution revealed evidence of a relationship between Byeon Yang-kyoon, a married senior aide to President Roh Moo-hyun, and Shin.

Shin lost her positions as professor of Dongguk University and co-director of the 2008 Gwangju Biennale after she was found to have forged her degrees, including a Yale doctorate.

Byeon allegedly helped Shin gloss over suspicions about her degrees and backed her financially.

Shin was arrested last Thursday.