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Seoul Deports American Author for Praising North Korea

© East News / AP Photo/Yonhap, Shin Joon-heeShin Eun-mi
Shin Eun-mi - Sputnik International
A Korean-American woman has been expelled from South Korea for making pro-North Korean remarks. Seoul's critics have slammed the government for violating freedom of speech.

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MOSCOW, January 10 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — A Korean-American woman has been extradited from South Korea after she praised North Korea in her recent lecture.

"A Korean-American woman was ordered to leave South Korea Saturday for making pro-North Korean remarks during her on-stage talks shows in South Korea… After some two hours of investigation, the immigration office decided to immediately deport Shin Eun-mi as requested by the prosecution," Yonhap, South Korea's media outlet reported citing justice ministry officials.

Yonhap added that the woman could be banned from entering South Korea for the next five years. Shin Eun-mi, a California resident has already fled the country to the United States. Before the departure from Seoul, Shin said he had no intentions to praise North Korea's regime, adding that she was just expressing her views regarding her travels to the state.

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The Guardian narrates that Shin Eun-mi published stories describing her journey to North Korea on OhmyNews, South Korea's popular news media site. Although her travel notes were initially included in a "government designated reading list" in 2013, the Culture Ministry has already banned her books, saying it would retrieve all copies from South Korea's libraries across the state.

During her lectures in November, 2014 the woman told a Seoul audience that many North Koreans who fled their homeland to South Korea wanted to return to their fatherland and expressed hopes Kim Jong Un would carry out positive changes in the country. The woman also made noting regarding the cleanliness of North Korea's rivers and good taste of its beer.

Critics have already blasted South Korea's government for the blatant violation against  freedom of speech and expression.

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"The decision to deport her is a clear violation of human rights. The government is taking the lead in trampling on human rights," the Hankyoreh newspaper noted as quoted by the Guardian.

United Nations' spokesperson Farhan Haq stated that "The secretary-general’s position on freedom of expression and freedom of opinion is well known…. That would apply here as well."

It is worth mentioning that South Korea's National Security Law prohibits any pro-North Korean activities since the two countries still remain "technically" in a state of war.

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