Human Rights Advocates Say South Korea’s ‘Anti-Leaflet Law’ is ‘Suppressing Speech and Freedom of Expression’

FILE PHOTO: A balloon containing leaflets denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, March 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

Prompted by South Korea’s “anti-leaflet law” that many fear will hinder the ability to get information to people suffering under the regime of Kim Jong Un in North Korea, members of Congress on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearing to discuss the far-reaching implications of this new law.

In December, South Korea’s National Assembly passed the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, best known as the anti-leaflet law, that not only bans South Korean nongovernmental organizations from sending leaflets into North Korea, it also bans sending USB drives containing information about the outside world, along with posters and money. It also prohibits loudspeaker broadcast announcements along the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two countries.

“The specific action that prompted this hearing … was the passage … of an anti-leaflet law [by South Korea’s National Assembly] that requires certain materials be approved by the government before being sent into the North,” said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., co-chair of the human rights commission, at the April 15 hearing.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Emily Wood

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