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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Korean media shocked by killing
Korean newspapers report on the beheading of Kim Sun-il
Kim Sun-il is front-page news
Reports and editorials in South Korea's press reflect despair at the death of the hostage Kim Sun-il in Iraq, but also defiance towards the kidnappers.

South Korean TV stations interrupted their schedules as Mr Kim's body was discovered and subsequently broadcast special rolling news programmes.

"Kim Sun-il killed - body identified", is the headline in the independent daily Tong-a Ilbo.

"Kim Sun-il ends up dead", is how the popular daily Chungang Ilbo reports it.

This incident was shocking and tragic, but it mustn't shake our decision... to send troops to Iraq
Choson Ilbo

As the news of the death of came too late for the first editions of most South Korean papers, only two papers have as yet offered an opinion on the latest events.

Choson Ilbo, the most widely read daily, carries an editorial entitled "The unforgivable atrocity of the murder of Kim Sun-il."

"This incident was shocking and tragic," the paper says, "but it mustn't shake our decision... to send troops to Iraq."

[The Iraqi kidnappers] had no intention of negotiating in the first place. That is why it is more difficult to forgive them
Tong-a Ilbo

It also appeals to the public to be aware of terrorist threats.

"We must now understand that we have become a fully-fledged target for terrorist attacks, and we must prepare for them."

Tong-a Ilbo headlines its editorial, "We denounce the atrocity of the killing of Kim Sun-il."

The paper says the Iraqi kidnappers "had no intention of negotiating in the first place. That is why it is more difficult to forgive them".

Tong-a Ilbo urges the South Korean Government to make every effort to arrest the killers with the cooperation of the Iraqi interim government, the US forces in Iraq, and other Middle Eastern states.

TV treatment

Several TV stations carried special programming after Mr Kim's body was found.

MBC TV and SBS TV reverted to regular programming at 0100 GMT, but KBS 1 TV and YTN Cable TV continued to carry reports on the killing.

All stations repeatedly aired the Al-Jazeera TV footage of the video statement from the kidnappers.

They also highlighted government reaction, foreign media coverage, and reports of the victim's family.

All four TV stations carried live coverage of President Roh Moo-hyun's "message to the people" on the incident.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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