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(LEAD) S. Korea seeking to toughen regulations on internet-based exchanges with N. Korea

All News 11:14 April 19, 2021

(ATTN: REPLACES comments with spokesperson's remarks in paras 4-7; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking to require its citizens to win government approval in advance before exchanging digital files of films or books with North Koreans via the internet, the unification ministry said Monday.

In January, the ministry proposed revising the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act in a way that requires approval from the unification minister for cross-border exchanges of "immaterial things" via electronic tools and information and communication networks.

Under the proposed revision, anyone who wants to send or receive such materials as emails, movie files and scanned books through the internet across the border should win prior approval from the minister.

"The ways and environments for exchanges have changed much with sending and receiving of scanned files or software through the internet steadily growing," Lee Jong-joo, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

"The (proposed) revision is intended to enhance legal clarification of the way by which relevant matters are controlled," she added.

The spokesperson, however, denied a media report that the proposed law revision is aimed at restricting radio broadcasts across the border to North Korean people.

"Radio broadcasting toward the North is not subject at all to the regulations concerning electronic immaterial things," she said.

Currently, all inter-Korean contact should be approved in advance or reported to the government afterward, as the two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

(LEAD) S. Korea seeking to toughen regulations on internet-based exchanges with N. Korea - 1


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