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Military Wants to Ban Controversial Cheonan Documentary

2013/05/08 Source

The South Korean military wants to ban a documentary that casts doubt on whether North Korea really sank the Navy corvette Cheonan. The families of the sailors who died aboard the Cheonan are joining the military in filing an injunction against the screening of the film.

Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry discussed possible legal steps and decided to involve the families for fear of causing a public outcry.

"The filing of the injunction must be taken from the context of a defamation suit", a Defense Ministry official said Tuesday. "It's legally impossible for the Defense Ministry and the Navy to be libeled, and the defense minister and Navy chief concluded it is legally ambiguous whether the film defames them personally".

Instead, the ministry asked the families of the deceased sailors to pinpoint parts of the documentary that veer from the findings of the official international investigation and pledged to provide them with legal assistance.

The documentary, directed by independent filmmaker Baek Seung-woo and called "Project Cheonan Ship", is "misleading because it claims the Cheonan sank as a result of a collision or by running aground and could potentially cause confusion among the public", a ministry official said. "It is our position that the film must not be shown in theaters or on DVD format or the Internet".

The film was produced by Chung Ji-young, who directed "Unbowed" and "National Security" and premiered it at the Jeonju International Film Festival on April 27. No date for nationwide screening has been set.

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