February 21, 2024

Number of fines for exchanges with North Korea increases under Yoon government

South Korea imposed six fines for violations of exchange act in 2023, which expert says could impact civilian channels

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification imposed six fines for violations of the Inter-Korean Exchange Act last year, the ministry announced on Monday, amounting to KRW 8.2 million (USD 6,160). According to the act, South Koreans need to gain permission from the unification ministry to contact, trade with or provide aid to North Korea, and failure to do so can result in a three-year prison sentence or a hefty fine.

The number of fines presents a significant increase from the previous Moon Jae-in administration when the unification ministry only imposed one fine during Moon’s entire five-year tenure. One expert said the increased crackdown on violations of the inter-Korean exchange law could have lasting effects on civilian channels between the North and the South.