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President's Office Suspected of Secret PR Manipulation
[Korea Now] 'Publicize the capture of Kang to deter moves by the anti government groups'
Jean K. Min (jean)     Print Article 
Published 2009-02-14 09:51 (KST)   
South Korea's Presidential office (Cheong Wa Dae)
©2009 Nam S.Y

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The capture of Kang Ho-soon, the infamous Korean serial killer, proved to be an excellent opportunity for the government to draw public attention from Yongsan tragedy, according to a secret email memo OhmyNews uncovered Thursday.

The email, which was sent from a press officer that handles online media in Cheong Wa Dae, Office of the President, lists detailed PR strategy to distract media attention from Yongsan tragedy to the serial killer.

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The memo opens by asking police public relation team to "publicize the capture of Kang to deter moves by the anti government groups to extend candle light vigils." It then lists some detailed strategy to generate more media coverage on Kang -- an interview with the chief detective, opening additional evidences to the public, dramatic comparison between American hit television drama "CSI" and Korean CSI team.

A great deal of circumstantial evidence indicates that the police PR officers actually followed the directions from Cheong Wa Dae. Local police department provided unusual support to the press; they turned main meeting hall to the press room, arranged exclusive interviews with CSI crime profilers and even exposed a part of Kang's face to the media.

The picture of Kang published by Chosun Ilbo and Joongang Ilbo, top national dailies, is now suspected to have been leaked by the police as part of their PR operation. The release of Kang's face dominated national news by touching off a heated debate for over a week about its ethical complication.

Real life psychopath thriller that made the entire country shiver with the dread now turned to act two with the disclosure of the bizarre political manipulation by the government.

One day after the exclusive report by OhmyNews, Cheong Wa Dae confirmed after much murmur and back-peddling that such an email was actually sent to the police but it was a sole act of an over-enthusiastic young press officer and Cheong Wa Dae was never involved with, nor had any knowledge of this incident.

The officer was reprimanded with an oral admonition, the presidential spokesperson added.
©2009 OhmyNews

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