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2,000 S. Korean email users registered to N. Korean propaganda website

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

About 2,000 South Korean email accounts were registered with a North Korean propaganda website, according to the list of email accounts released by an anonymous hacker on Friday, raising speculations over whether to punish the email users for violating the National Security Law banning contact with North Korean materials.

The list of 9,001 users, which the hacker "Anonymous" claimed it got from hacking the website of Uriminzokkiri, includes about 2,000 local email accounts serviced by Internet portal sites Daum, Naver and Nate as well as universities, media firms and local electronics giants Samsung Electronics and LG. The list also included the names, IDs and genders of the 9,001 users of the Uriminzokkiri propaganda site.

A majority of the about 4,000 email accounts were based on China. Through its account at the social network service Twitter (@YourAnonNewsKR), Anonymous released the list on Thursday after saying earlier this week that they hacked into the North Korean website. The unidentified hacking group previously claimed that they also hacked other major North Korean websites.

As of early Friday, the websites of Uriminzokkiri and two other propaganda sites -- the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and Our Nation School -- remain inaccessible due to the hacking.

Prosecutors said having membership with the North Korean website does not immediately constitute a violation of the National Security Law, which prohibits South Koreans from extolling or spreading political ideologies and the ruling Kim family of the enemy state. The two Koreas remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The prosecutors said they will have to look into whether the email account owners conducted any anti-state activities or not before deciding on any legal steps.

Previously, several South Koreans were punished for downloading and spreading articles from the North Korean propaganda website.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130405/2000-s-korean-email-users-registered-n-korean-propaganda-website