South Korea blocks website run by British journalist covering North Korea technology

A British journalist who has documented the development of North Korea's technology issues has said he will appeal a decision by South Korean authorities to block his website for violating national security law.

Martyn Williams, who runs the northkoreatech.org website, said he believed it did not violate the law, which bans praising or promoting the North Korean regime.

Williams said the website "doesn't seek to glorify or support North Korea".

He said many of its readers are researchers, journalists, diplomats, academics and others interested in North Korea. Since it was launched in 2010, the website has been frequently cited by both Korean and international media, including South Korea's own Yonhap News Agency. It receives about 20,000 monthly visits.

In his website, Williams has written about issues ranging from mobile phone usage in North Korea and its satellite technology to a little-known computer operating system developed by North Koreans.

He said much of the content on his website is based on announcements made by the North and South Korean governments as well as reports in the media.

Since late March, users accessing the website from South Korea were redirected to a warning page saying it was "legally" blocked due to "illegal or harmful information".

The Korea Communications Standards Commission confirmed that the commission decided on March 24 to block the website because it violated security law. South Korean police officials then alerted authorities.

The censorship body also blocks websites deemed illegal or harmful to society, such as pornography, gambling or North Korea's official outlets.


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