The Korean News Experiences a Period of Relative Freedom

After decades of heavy censorship, the South Korean press has experienced a period of relative freedom. Outside observers have criticised pressure tactics used by both the government and business community to influence reporting. The repressive Basic Press Law was repealed in 1987, and the new Broadcasting Law allowed satellite broadcasting to reach the country.

What makes South Korea so popular?

By 1989, Seoul’s four major dailies had a combined circulation of more than 6.5 million. Two English-language newspapers and a Chinese-language daily served Korea’s small foreign community. The independent Hankyoreh attracted readers with its nationalist and interest in national reunification agenda. Its independence was symbolized in its logo, which depicted Lake Cheonji at the top of Baekdu Mountain; in its exclusive use of the Korean alphabet; and in its refusal to accept advertising from major companies. Source :

In the late 1980s, journalists organized trade unions and pressed for more editorial autonomy. The government responded with a series of reforms including allowing reporters to base themselves outside the capital and withdrawing security officials from newspaper offices. The result was a marked increase in coverage of sensitive subjects such as political-military relations, factions within the military, and dissident organizations.

In recent months, North Korea has stepped up its weapons development programs, raising alarms among U.S. allies in the region and the world. The North’s leader has flouted international sanctions, despite earlier signals that he would work toward denuclearization. The United States and South Korea have warned the North to end its proliferation activities or face increased sanctions.

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.