UK journalist to appeal as Seoul blocks his site on N. Korea

    UK journalist to appeal as Seoul blocks his site on N. Korea

    April 5, Seoul: A British journalist who runs a website that documents North Korean technology issues said that he'll appeal a decision by South Korean authorities to block his site for allegedly violating the country's National Security Law.

    Martyn Williams, whose North Korea Tech website has been blocked for almost two weeks, said the site does not violate the security law, which bans praising, sympathizing or cooperating with North Korea. The website "doesn't seek to glorify or support North Korea," he said in an email.

    Williams, who is based in San Francisco, has written about issues ranging from cellphone usage in North Korea and its satellite technology, to a little-known computer operating system developed by North Koreans. He said much of the content on his website is based on announcements made by the North and South Korean governments and reports in the media, The Associated Press reported.

    The South's Korea Communications Standards Commission confirmed Tuesday that it decided on March 24 to block the site because it allegedly violated the security law. The censorship body blocks websites deemed illegal or harmful to society, such as pornography, gambling and North Korea's official outlets.

    Sohn Jiwon, a lawyer with the Seoul-based Korea Internet Transparency Report, said the blocking of the website highlights how South Korean authorities sometimes censor content that does not threaten the country's democracy. "As a result, journalists' right to know about North Korea-related issues is being violated," she said.

    The Oslo Times


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