North Korea Journo Says Typo Led to Six Months in Jail


By Richard Horgan Comment

Typos happen. Across the board, high and low, even when the topic or person is as familiar as Roger Ebert.

But imagine paying for such an error with much more than inclusion in a compilation of ridicule or Twitter teasing  from colleagues. This week, as part of the first phase of an historic UN inquiry into North Korea human rights abuses, a former DPRK state journalist outlined the staggering typo-price he was forced to pay:

Former agency journalist Jang Hae-sun said he was jailed for six months for misspelling dictator Kim Il Sung‘s name.

Kim Il Sung is basically the Abraham Lincoln of North Korea. While the crime-and-punishment imbalance allegedly experienced by Hae-sun pales in comparison to some of the other more horrific tales shared with the inquiry in Seoul, it’s shastening chastening for all those of us in the U.S.A  who occasionally slip up as part of a paid journalist station.

[Image of (l to r) UN inquiry judges Marzuki Darusman, Michael Kirby and Sonja Biserko courtesy Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights]