07:41 GMT14 July 2020
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    Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak allegedly ordered the National Intelligence Service to persecute artists for their disagreements with his government.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The government of former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is suspected of ordering the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to create a blacklist of celebrities and artists with a critical stance toward the government, local media reported Tuesday.

    In May, the incumbent South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered the establishment of a task force to probe into allegations that the NIS had persecuted several artists for their disagreements with Lee's government.

    According to the Yonhap news agency, South Korean prosecutors have received a formal request to look into the former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon and on yet another service's official named Kim Joo-sung on potential involvement in the blacklisting of artists during Lee's tenure.

    The news outlet added that during Lee's administration a lot of celebrities were labeled as "left-leaning," banned from making TV appearances, accused of cooperation with North Korea, while government agencies put additional pressure on them, for example via conducting additional audits on the companies that had contracts with the blacklisted artists.

    The news outlet added that the similar practices were also carried out during the rule of Lee's successor Park Geun-hye.

    Lee was the president of South Korea from 2008-2013.

    spying, Lee Myung-bak, Moon Jae-in, South Korea
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