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Talk show host loses libel suit against President Park

May 13, 2016
In this photo taken on Dec. 22, 2014, Hwang Sun answers reporters' questions at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul before filing a complaint with the state prosecutors to investigate President Park Geun-hye over libel charges.

In this photo taken on Dec. 22, 2014, Hwang Sun answers reporters’ questions at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in southern Seoul before filing a complaint with the state prosecutors to investigate President Park Geun-hye over libel charges.

SEOUL, (Yonhap) — A Seoul court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a local politician who argued President Park Geun-hye defamed her by calling a talk show she hosted in 2014 as being pro-North Korean.

Hwang Sun, a former deputy spokeswoman of the now-defunct Democratic Labor Party, filed the defamation suit with the Seoul Central District Court in 2014, seeking 5 million won (US$4,300) in compensation from President Park for criticizing her show at a meeting of senior presidential secretaries.

Upholding the original ruling, an appeals department of the court dismissed the appeal filed by Hwang.

The plaintiff had claimed she mentally suffered as the president said Hwang distorted the brutal human rights situation in the North.

The 42-year-old was indicted in February 2015 on charges of making flattering remarks about North Korea during the on-stage talk shows, in violation of the South’s National Security Law.

The law bans any activity meant to praise or propagandize North Korean ideals. Seoul remains technically at war with Pyongyang since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Hwang said Park’s remarks, which were made when Hwang was under investigation by prosecutors, had a negative impact on the results of the probe.

The court said in the original ruling that some of the remarks by the chief executive were simple opinions, which aren’t liable for defamation compensation, and others were based on facts that cannot be illegal.

Hwang was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for two years, by the same court in February.

Her Korean-American co-host of the show Shin Eun-mi was deported in January last year because of similar allegations. She has been banned from entering South Korea for five years.

2 Comments

  1. thomas

    May 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Korea has progressed (for the better) since the early 80′s. That said, I’m always surprised to see on the news people calling for the President to apologize out of their own spite or hate. However, for a person to be able to sue the President (while in office)is incomprehensible. There should be law(s) that prevent such frivolous law suits against the President. I’m surprised there are not more lawsuits again out of their own hatred and spite against the countries policies and actions. For instance, what’s to stop a person from filing a suit against the President from attending a shrine or temple because it goes against their religion. Ridiculous? Yes. But so is this suit from this disingenuous person who filed this lawsuit.

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