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Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 10:18 GMT
Korean party's net election message
Koreans using computers
Korea has very high internet usage
By Caroline Gluck in Seoul

South Korea's ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) has launched an internet broadcasting service aiming at taking its election message into cyberspace.

While all of the main political parties have their own websites, this latest internet venture goes one step further promising a 24-hour interactive news channel.

A young female cartoon character called Minju, or Democracy, is the party channel's star.

The MDP says the image is designed to show that the party can appeal to the young - proof that it is future-oriented and in tune with the cyber-society.

Its interactive broadcasting channel will be presented by reporters and presenters in their 20s and 30s and will feature street interviews with young people across the country, asking for their views on a range of issues.

First-time voters

The internet is becoming an increasingly important tool for all political parties in mid-April's elections.

South Korea has one of the highest internet usage in the world with cyber-cafes springing up on every street corner.

Political parties see the internet as a particularly important way of targeting younger and first-time voters who are often seen as apathetic or disenchanted with politics.

The head of the MDP cyber-campaign says she hopes the service will attract several million hits before next month's poll and will encourage the younger electorate to use their vote on election day.

While the parties are not abandoning their traditional rallies and campaigns yet, that may soon change.

Already politicians are using net buzzwords to describe today's generation of cyber-savvy Koreans.

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24 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
Korean coalition splits
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