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South Korea police raid office, residence of Kim Il Sung memoir publisher

South Korea police raid office, residence of Kim Il Sung memoir publisher
The South Korean publisher of the memoir of North Korea’s first leader, Kim Il Sung, is under investigation, according to multiple press reports. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- South Korean police raided the office of a book publisher that sold copies of former North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung's memoir -- a series of books available on the Internet for free.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's investigative branch said Wednesday the office of the publisher Minjok Sarangbang was searched and goods seized from the location, Yonhap and Hankook Ilbo reported.

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The residence of the company's chief executive Kim Seung-kyun was also searched. The investigation took place from Wednesday morning until 3 p.m., according to Yonhap.

Documents police seized from Kim Seung-kyun's personal belongings include his notes related to the publication of the eight volumes of With the Century. Kim Il Sung's memoir is an official historical record of the North Korean regime.

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Authorities said the material is to be analyzed and that they plan to summon individuals connected to the publication.

The memoir came to public attention after a South Korean conservative nonprofit filed for a preliminary injunction against the sale and distribution of the book.

New Paradigm of Korea said Kim Il Sung's memoir should be banned because distributing content that "benefits a hostile country could in effect nullify the National Security Law."

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Some South Koreans are pushing back against the conservatives. According to Yonhap, an online petition calling for the abolition of South Korea's National Security Law has collected more than 100,000 signatures in nine days. Online activists said the law "ignores reality" and that it "returns society to the past."

A local court dismissed NPK's petition for a preliminary injunction on May 14, according to Hankook Ilbo.

The controversy has impacted book sales. Major booksellers, including Kyobo Bookstore and online retailers Yes24 and Aladdin, suspended the memoir in the face of opposition, according to the report.

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