A South Korean man received a suspended jail term Tuesday for retweeting messages from North Korea’s official website in the first such case since the communist state launched a cyber propaganda campaign.
The Seoul Central District Court said it had handed the 55-year-old man identified only as Cho a two-year jail sentence, suspended for three years, for violating South Korea’s security law.
The man was convicted of retweeting material from the North’s Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/uriminzok) to about 3,000 followers last year, it said.
The North made its first foray into Twitter last August, using the account to link to stinging statements criticizing the South and the United States on its website.
It also opened an account on YouTube as it ramped up online propaganda efforts. In February, the newspaper of North Korea’s ruling party, Rodong Sinmun, launched its own website.
Choz argued he had just been passing on news about North Korea, but the court ruled his behavior could pose a threat to South Korea’s national interest and security.
Seoul strictly prohibits the distribution of publications praising Pyongyang. The two Koreas are still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict.
Pyongyang meanwhile tightly limits its own people’s access to outside information.