This article is from Human Rights Watch (HRW):
The South Korean National Assembly should reject a proposed law that would criminalize sending leaflets, information, money, and other items to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. If enacted, the law would violate South Koreans’ rights to freedom of expression and would make engaging in humanitarianism and human rights activism a criminal offense.
On December 2, 2020, a committee of the South Korean National Assembly passed an amendment that would make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to send leaflets or other materials into North Korea without the government’s permission, including “promotional pamphlets,” “printed hand-outs,” and “auxiliary storage devices” (such as USBs, SD cards, and disks), as well as “money or other monetary benefits.” The overbroad language could be interpreted to include any items of value at all, and potentially, in the North Korean context, food or medicine.
“The South Korean government seems more interested in keeping North Korea’s Kim Jong Un happy than letting its own citizens exercise their basic rights on behalf of their northern neighbors,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director. “The proposed law does a great disservice to the people of both South Korea and North Korea, and the National Assembly should vote against it.”
Read the full article here.