From " 'Guiding' the Press," an article in the May issue of Index on Censorship, published in London:
When President Chun Doo Hwan came to power in December 1979 (he was formerly the head of the Korean CIA), the first step taken by his government was to restrict the freedom of the media. In 1980 more than 600 journalists from some 40 newspapers and broadcasting media were sacked and banned from writing. By 1987, only about 30 of them had been reinstated. The government also banned 172 periodicals on charges of "obscenity and creating social confusion." More than 600 publishing companies were closed down. Each province was allowed only one newspaper. Two independent broadcasting companies were merged into the government-controlled Korea Broadcasting Service. The Christian Broadcasting Service was confined to religious programs, and the government also took over majority ownership of the supposedly independent Munhwa (Culture) Broadcasting Corporation.
The government's basic instrument for control of the media are the press laws promulgated on 31 December 1980. Publishers were required to obtain a printing license from the government, but could not do so unless they possessed extensive equipment for large-scale printing. Publishers and broadcasting companies had to submit copies of publications or records of broadcasts to the Ministry of Culture and Information, which might revoke the licences of a publisher who transgressed an undefined line of propriety. All journalists are "licensed" -- they must have a press card to have their articles published. The Ministry of Culture and Information is empowered to monitor the media and book publishing.