Korean Prosecution Censors Journalist’s Mail

Article from Segye Ilbo:

The prosecution censors a piece of mail delivered to a journalist, states it is ‘above the law.’


Suspicions have been raised that the prosecution illegally opened a piece of mail delivered to a journalist at Segye Ilbo who was investigating corruption scandals implicating an incumbent prosecutor. It is likely that the information about an informer’s identity and the content of the mail was exposed when the prosecution opened the mail.

On November 10th, the administrative service department at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office arbitrarily received the mail on behalf of the real recipient, journalist Park at the Segye Ilbo. Inside the letter sent on November 7th was evidence of a prosecutor’s wife getting money for her trip to Europe from an executive the National Merit Office. In addition, the informer’s name, address and his phone number were written on the envelope.

The mail wasn’t delivered to the journalist Park until 4 days after it had arrived. During the 4 days the mail was in the administrative service department and the spokesperson’s room at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. When the journalist received his mail, there were signs that it was taped shut after being opened. This aroused suspicions that someone had opened the mail or delayed delivery on purpose.

The police have told the reporter that the prosecution opening the journalist’s mail violates the law. According to Clause 316 of Criminal Law, Invasion of Privacy, someone who opens a sealed letter, document, or drawing will be sentenced to 3 years in prison or pay a fine not exceeding 5 million won.

The prosecution opened the mail knowing the name of the receiver. This means the prosecution can’t be free from the suspicion of investigating the journalist’s actions. Earlier Segye Ilbo inquired at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office to find out about the violation committed by the prosecution. As the Segye Ilbo investigation exposed, there’s a possibility that the prosecutor was trying to get information about the progress of the case via the mail. A legal official said, “The informer’s identity might have been exposed as the prosecution illegally kept the mail for 4 days. It is natural to suspect that the prosecution was investigating the journalist.”

A person concerned at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office explained the situation saying, “Staff opened the mail by mistake after receiving it on behalf of the journalist. He forgot and delivered it late to the journalist. He didn’t see what was inside.”

Comments from Daum:


The prosecution violated Article 17 of the Constitution, which states that the privacy of no citizen shall be infringed upon. They gobble up the freedom of the people like bugs, and their investigation reminds me of the Revitalizing Reform era in Korea. My country is becoming ill..

폴 크루그먼님:

The Korean government can’t reveal what happened during the 7 hours the president was gone as it relates t her privacy, but it looks in KAKAOTALK. It engages in cyber investigating for the severe criticism toward the president, while it is generous when it comes to horrible criticism towards the parents who lost their children. What should we do with this country?

관악산 학인님:

The fact that Korea is run by public safety and the police isn’t a temporary situation but is accepted as ordinary and normal. Under the Lee Myeong-bak government, Korea ended up an ‘underdeveloped country in human rights’ per the UN human rights report.


The prosecution that is executing the law while ignoring the law, get out!


The Revitalizing Reform era in Korea! Is this the way the world is going round?


This is why we can’t trust the prosecution and should completely supervise it.


Those prosecutors are ugly monkeys.


Assholes, they so easily investigate people.


People supporting President Park like anything whatever she does.


They did open it but didn’t see what’s inside? It can be compared with this situation — you were with your husband or wife for seven hours but you didn’t make love to him or her. Assholes are playing with people.


In this case, the Public Prosecutor General should apologize to the people and be inspected by the government. Crazy prosecutor!


Their answer is childish as well. If you start lying you can’t stop and they lie so well. No matter how hard they try to cover up the heaven with their palm, the people know everything.


Snob, tut tut.


Do whatever you want. This is what you get from people kissing your ass. People acting like slaves, this is what you get.


We can’t blame the human rights of North Korea. The level of the human rights of South Korea is… Once you get a taste of it it feels so much worse when it’s taken away!

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