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Choigate and Park Geun-hye’s censorship of the arts – contd

Choigate puppet

A couple more links relating to censorship under Park Geun-hye, which will be updated as news breaks.

First, a re-post of the pdf purporting to be the blacklist of 9,473 names, first posted here.

10 Jan 2017: Via Br Anthony comes the “appalling news … that [Park] personally gave orders that the two most important publishers of contemporary poetry (Changbi / Munhak Dongne) (with other similar bodies) should be bankrupted by being refused state support because they dared publish books critical of her ‘government’ and must therefore be considered ‘red’ (commie = 빨갱이).” Source (in Korean).

Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun
Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun (photo: SR Baek / Yonhap)

21 Jan 2017: Via Korea Times: “South Korean Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun was formally arrested by investigators Saturday over her suspected involvement in the blacklisting of cultural figures deemed critical of the conservative government. The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant to arrest Cho on charges of abuse of authority and perjury. It also issued an arrest warrant for former presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon, accused of masterminding the blacklisting.” Also covered in The Guardian: “the first sitting minister ever to be arrested.”

17 Feb 2017: South Korean Government Accused of Blacklisting 9,000 Artists—Here’s What You Need to Know (

10 March 2017: Culture ministry creates budget for the blacklisted (Korea JoongAng Daily). “Perhaps the highlight of all measures announced on Thursday is the one that promises to enact a bill aimed at protecting artists from political oppression or censorship. The Constitution says artistic freedom and artists’ rights should be protected, but the enactment of the law will allow any attempt that goes against those to be criminally punished. The culture ministry will submit a motion for the law in the first half of this year.”

27 July 2017: Ex-leader’s top aide gets 3 yrs in jail over ‘artist blacklist’ (Yonhap). “The Seoul Central District Court doled out the sentence to former presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon after finding him guilty of abuse of power and perjury…Former culture minister Kim Jong-deok was sentenced to two years in prison.” Former culture minister Cho Yoon-sun received a suspended sentence.

11 September 2017: this does not come as a surprise, but what a shocking waste of taxpayers’ money: NIS monitored Korean film industry under Park Geun-hye administration (Hankyoreh). “NIS agents … pushed for the production of right-leaning content, summoning film directors and offering them support to make “patriotic movies.” Sources reported them as offering “up to 3 billion won [US$2.7 million]” to make a “hero movie where the President is part of the action,” according to the report. As one industry executive pointed out: “How can you talk about a ‘creative economy’ or ‘cultural fusion’ in an age when the NIS checks up on every aspect of the film production schedule?”

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