South Korea’s former culture minister, Cho Yoon-sun, has been sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring in a state-sponsored blacklisting of local artists and entertainment figures who did not support the country’s ousted ex-president, Park Geun-hye.
Cho had previously been cleared of involvement in the censorship scandal and was given a one-year suspended sentence for perjury. An appeals court in Seoul on Tuesday reviewed the case and found further evidence in documents from the Presidential Blue House. Cho was arrested in court and taken into immediate custody.
The notorious blacklist features nearly 10,000 artists, including the likes of Oldboy helmer Park Chan-wook, Snowpiercer actor Song Kang-ho and Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Han Kang. The blacklist was designed to deliberately exclude artists “deemed unfriendly” toward Park from state-controlled support programs. Park was impeached in March 2017 after being found guilty in a corruption and cronyism scandal, as well as for ordering such censorship initiatives.
In addition to Cho, the court also found Park’s former chief of staff, Kim Ki-choon, to be guilty as an accomplice and had his penalty of three years increased to four.