President Park Sues Newspaper for Report Saying She's Behind Gov't Blacklist of Artists

President Park Sues Newspaper for Report Saying She's Behind Gov't Blacklist of Artists

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday filed a compensation suit against a South Korean daily and its journalists for publishing a report that said she orchestrated the creation of a blacklist of cultural figures deemed critical of her administration, sources said.

   The Joongang Ilbo reported on Saturday that the blacklist was created about a month after the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014 following the president's order to deny those critical of the government state support.

   Park's legal representatives had immediately denied the allegations later in the day, vowing to take legal measures against the daily, its officials involved in the reporting and the source from the special investigation team who was cited anonymously in the report.

   A independent counsel team has been accelerating the probe into the blacklist, summoning a number of high-level officials and arresting ex-Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun and ex-presidential chief of staff Kim Ki-choon.

   The list is known to have nearly 10,000 people on it, including author Han Kang, winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2016, and director Park Chan-wook, who won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.

   The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism made a public apology over the scandal on Monday, vowing to "fully cooperate" with the investigation.'

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