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As it turns out, surname Kim, who kidnapped and killed an elementary school girl last July, has a bulk of child pornography in his personal computer. Kim was under indictment and ordered to wear an electronic anklet that identifies his location. As a result, the Korean police authority has decided to strengthen the crackdown on both sharing and downloading child pornography online. The decision was made because of recent public opinion that child pornography is one of the main reasons causing sex crime toward children.
There are a number of other cases throughout Korea. Kangwon Provincial Police Agency booked 70-year-old surname Yoo without detention for selling child pornography to unspecified individuals last September. According to police, Yoo has uploaded about 4,000 child pornography videos on the P2P website, and 940 were videos of young girls under age 10 having sex with adult men.
Meanwhile, Seoul Geumcheon Police Station indicted 49-year-old surname Kim without detention for showing child pornography to customers at a PCroom, a place that people pay money to use computers. Kim opened PCroom around the Gwanak area in Seoul last year, having 12 small rooms open 24 hours, and has been showing child pornography to customers.
The official of Seoul Geumcheon Police Station said that they would keep taking additional measures by checking other PCrooms around that area.
Smart phones are playing an important role for child pornography being shared. Earlier this month, Police found 171 videos and 1,078 pictures of child pornography shared by Smart phone applications, arresting 44 people who distributed this type of pornography.
In 2007, the Korean police authorities organized the cyber watchdog group ‘Nuri Cops,’ which consists of voluntary university students and office workers, in order to strengthen observation of child pornography shared online.
“These days, the number of sex crimes on children is rising in Korea, and I heard child pornography is one of the reasons for it. That’s why I have decided to participate in this activity. I usually monitor a Korean file sharing website which is popular with university students,” 27-year-old college student Yong Sang-ho told Toonari Post.
According to the Korea Cyber Terror Response Center (CTRC), the number of cases of online child pornography was 5,899 in 2009, 11,437 in 2010, and 10,352 in 2011. It shows that, despite the efforts of police and voluntary workers, it looks difficult to stop people from sharing child pornography online.
Recently, the Korean police authorities have decided to broaden the range of crackdown to include animations and computer games. They have announced that pornography that remind people of teenagers, such as through school outfits or settings, even though actual teenagers are not on there, will be included in police’s crackdown.
Some netizens show their discomfort with the police’s decision.
“It seems what we think about child pornography and what the police think is quite different. There are so many adult pictures, porn videos or even PC games from Japan shared in Korea, and it is easy to see a character wearing a school uniforms in this pornography. In Japan, it is quite a common concept used for pornography. It is a stark reality that there are more people watching Japanese pornography than people watching the western ones in Korea. Sending all Korean men to jail is the purpose of the Korean police?” A netizen from dcinside, one of the biggest portal websites in Korea, revealed.
However, there are also people supporting the police’s idea.
In an interview, 33-year-old office worker Lee Eun-jung, who has 4-year-old daughter, said, “I heard watching child pornography can trigger actual sex crimes on children. If there is a proper way to prevent it, we should do that. I believe the police’s decision can prevent possible tragedy in the future.”