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North Korea scolds South Korea over Internet censorship

[JURIST] North Korea [JURIST news archive] accused South Korea [JURIST news archive] of Internet censorship Friday, saying that preventing the South Korean public from accessing pro-North Korea websites violates their citizens' basic human rights and freedom to access information. Since 2004, South Korea has blocked more than 30 such websites, including the website of North Korea's official news agency, KCNA [official website, English version]. Few North Koreans have access to the Internet, and North Korean President Kim Jong-il [BBC profile] is rumored to access the web through connections to China [Aljazeera report]. South Korea, on the other hand, is one of the most wired countries in the world, with three-quarters of its citizens having Internet connections. South Korea's Ministry of Unification [official website] has said that it does not plan to lift the ban. Reuters has more.

In the latest Worldwide Index of Freedom [RWB report; JURIST report], issued annually by Reporters Without Borders, South Korea was ranked 31 out of 168 countries listed. North Korea came in last, and was labeled by the report as one of the "worst predators of press freedom."

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