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Cabinet approves bill banning anti-Pyongyang leaflets

All News 16:23 December 22, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill banning the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea, promising to make greater efforts to help dispel any misunderstanding of the measure amid criticism it undermines the right to freedom of expression.

The amendment to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, which passed the National Assembly earlier this month, calls for punishing the scattering of leaflets across the border with up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won (US$27,047).

The legislation sparked criticism that it restricts the freedom of expression. But the government has argued that the ban is necessary for the safety of people living in border regions because such leafleting could provoke the North to undertake bellicose acts.

During a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun asked Unification Minister Lee In-young to make sure that the law is carried out in accordance with its purposes in a situation where "various opinions have been raised."

Lee said the ministry will strengthen communication with the public to ensure there is no misunderstanding.

The law is scheduled to take effect three months later. The ministry plans to create a guideline before the law is put into effect.

Cabinet approves bill banning anti-Pyongyang leaflets - 1


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