S.Korea Cracksdown on Communist Sympathizers

SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) — The number of people arrested on charges of violating the country’s anti-communist law jumped nearly 40 percent on-year in 2013 due to an all-out clampdown, police said Wednesday.

According to the National Police Agency (NPA), the number of people arrested for allegedly violating the politically controversial National Security Law came to 22 in 2013, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier.

Enacted in 1948 to fight communism, the law bans any “anti-state” activities that attempt to praise, encourage or propagandize North Korean political ideals.

“(The increase) is attributed to an intensive crackdown on security law breaches such as the arrests of a businessman for handing over classified information to North Korea and members of a pro-Pyongyang activist group,” said an NPA officer.

In December 2013, a 55-year-old man, only identified by his surname Kang, was detained on charges of transferring state-of-the-art South Korean military technology to Pyongyang’s spy agency.

Also, the NPA arrested six members of the South Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea’s Reunification for allegedly carrying out propaganda activities to praise the communist regime.

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