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Law unfair to foreign performers: lawmaker

Source: Rep. Lee Sang-hun of the ruling Democratic Party
Source: Rep. Lee Sang-hun of the ruling Democratic Party


South Korea’s regulations on foreign performers are unfair and may violate freedom of expression, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. Lee Sang-hun of the ruling Democratic Party said Korea unfairly regulates performances by foreigners, citing ambiguity in the Korea Media Rating Board’s “Foreigners’ performance recommendation system.”

Under the current law, foreigners must be recommended and reviewed by the board if they want to perform in Korea. If they perform without going through the procedure, they can face up to two years in prison or fines of up to 20 million won ($17,083).

Rep. Lee said the criteria for screening performances were also unclear.

According to data that Lee received from the board, criteria such as “unstable tones and lack of breathing at the end” were given as reasons for not recommending performances.

The recommendation system is also carried out in connection with immigration, a matter that it is inappropriate for the board to handle, according to Lee.

Under the general rules of the Korea Media Rating Board, the purpose of the recommendation system is to smoothly carry out the recommendations of foreigners who visit tourism establishments.

The system can also be used by agencies that help foreigners obtain visas under the Immigration Control Act, according to Shin Soon-chul, an associate professor at Handong University’s communications department.

Rep. Lee said, “The recommendation tasks should be transferred to immigration-related offices or the ambiguous standards should be removed to ease immigration regulations.”



By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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