(AFP) – Nov 7, 2010
SEOUL — South Korea's top court ruled Monday that possession of instrumental music with titles praising North Korea violates a tough national security law.
The supreme court upheld a two-year jail term, suspended for four years, given to a female activist identified only as Song.
Song was charged in 2008 with storing 14 MP3 music files with titles praising North Korea on a USB storage device.
State prosecutors accused her of violating the law banning distribution of pro-North Korean material.
A district court acquitted Song, saying the titles alone could not define the songs as praising the communist North.
But an appeal court ruled that the songs written by North Korea to praise its leadership contained "enemy-benefiting" expressions and threatened the South's security -- regardless of their lack of lyrics.
The supreme court supported the appeals court, saying it took into consideration "motivation" and various other circumstances.
South Korea bans distribution of publications or other material praising North Korea and unauthorised contact with its people. Offenders can face heavy jail terms.
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