This briefing comes from Korea View, a weekly newsletter published by the Korea Economic Institute. Korea View aims to cover developments that reveal trends on the Korean Peninsula but receive little attention in the United States. If you would like to sign up, please find the online form here.
Implications: Despite the increasingly borderless nature of crimes perpetrated online, South Korea is struggling to approach this challenge with an international outlook. The courts argued that keeping Son in South Korea would help local authorities find domestic consumers of child pornography, demonstrating the priority placed on prosecuting South Korean offenders. This is despite the U.S. Justice Department’s finding that users of the site come from countries including the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Context: The decision comes just a few months after South Korea was rocked by the massive Nth Room online sex trafficking scandal, which also led to harsh criticism of the sentencing of sex offenders. In April, the National Assembly made viewing illegally filmed sexual content punishable by up to three years in prison. Previously, this had not been a crime. Users of Son Jong-woo’s now-defunct site who were convicted in the United States received sentences of five to fifteen years in prison.
Korea View was edited by Yong Kwon with the help of James Constant and Sonia Kim.
Image from Markus Spiske’s photostream on flickr Creative Commons.