The Korea Herald

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지나쌤

Govt. to seek damages from online murder threat suspects

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Aug. 24, 2023 - 18:16

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Police officers patrol the underground alleys of Jamsil subway station in August as a post threatening to murder random people spread online. (Yonhap) Police officers patrol the underground alleys of Jamsil subway station in August as a post threatening to murder random people spread online. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of Justice said on Thursday that the government would seek damages from suspects behind the online murder threats amid a surge in such cases.

The government sees the instances as obstruction of official duty that "wastes police resources" and "taxpayers' money," it said in a statement.

The Justice Ministry has yet to initiate civil court proceedings in a bid to seek "a considerable amount of compensation" from the individuals, alongside criminal procedures the suspects are going through.

Under the Korean rules, those who posted murder threats online are often subject to criminal punishment for intimidation or obstruction of official duties by fraudulent means, oftentimes leading to a suspended prison sentence against the perpetrators as these instances were less likely regarded as the preparation for homicide -- a crime of harsher punishment -- in court rulings.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said the government will work to "seek both criminal and civil charges calling for damages" against the online threat culprits, saying such acts leave society panicked once they have occurred.

A revision of the Criminal Act to ensure harsher punishment on those posting online threats is also underway separately, the Justice Ministry added.