South Korea’s top court decided Thursday to drop charges against Park Jeong-Geun, a 26-year-old photographer, charged with being sympathetic toward the North after he retweeted posts from the reclusive country on the microblogging site Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Seoul’s government had earlier stated that his move posed a threat to its national security.
Park was accused of violating the state’s National Security Law by showing sympathy toward Pyongyang and was arrested and charged in 2012, according to Agence France-Presse, or AFP. A district court in South Korea had charged Park with being a threat to national security but an appellate court had cleared him of the charges and found him to be innocent. When the case reached the country's Supreme Court, it ruled that Park's move “did not pose tangible threats to national security,” AFP reported.
Park had reportedly said he intended to be sarcastic when he retweeted the North's posts, including one that said: "Long Live General Kim Jong-Il."
Ties between both countries have turned especially prickly since 2008 when a conservative administration took over in Seoul, replacing the previous government, which had reportedly adopted a friendlier approach toward the North.
In May, the South had found crashed drones inside its borders, which it said were from North Korea, which in turn said the claim was a charade. In recent weeks, the North has taken an increasingly aggressive stance against joint military drills conducted by the South with the U.S., and has threatened to attack the White House, if it continued to meddle in its affairs.
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