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South Korea blocks GeoCities

The South Korean government blocks access to the online community because of a site that touts North Korean ideology.

    The South Korean government has blocked access to the GeoCities online community because of a site that touts North Korean beliefs, a GeoCities spokesman said.

    "Well, we've got a couple of countries here [North and South Korea] that are at war, and I guess they're both very sensitive to anything being said about either one," said Dick Hackenberg, vice president of marketing for Santa Monica, California-based GeoCities. "There's nothing inherently wrong with the site."

    The site is called Chajusong, which it says means "self-reliance" in Korean. It offers a tribute to the late North Korean leader Kim II-Sung, along with some of his writings and those of Kim Jong II, links, and other resources.

    C.K. Sung, consul for information at the Los Angeles office of the South Korean consulate, dismissed the site as "North Korean propaganda," but said, "I don't agree that [government officials in South Korea] have prohibited this." No one was available for comment at the Korean embassy in Washington, D.C.

    Sung said he first heard about the conflict when he was contacted by a reporter from Wired News.

    Regardless of the South Korean government's decision, Hackenberg said the company has no plans to remove the site.

    "We try to be as sensitive, as fair, and as objective as possible," he said. "There are lots of free speech issues that the Web at large is dealing with--we're doing our best to deal with them, too."