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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A leader of a banned South Korean student protest group has been sentenced to jail time for heading anti-American and pro-North Korean demonstrations, officials said Tuesday.

The Taegu District Court sentenced the Keimyung University student, identified by his family name Choi, to 30 months in prison for his role in the student group Hanchongryon.

The court ordered the term suspended for four years, saying Choi was pressured to join the group after being elected to lead his university’s official student organization last year.

The court found Choi violated South Korea’s National Security Law by organizing activities for the group, which in recent weeks had been campaigning for the government to give it legal status.

The court said its decision was based on previous cases which counted Hanchongryon as a “pro-enemy” organization for its support of North Korea.

Since the mid-’90s, the group has focused on protesting the presence of American troops in South Korea.

Last month, a Uijongbu judge handed down prison terms for 13 anti-American protesters who raided a training range, burned a U.S. flag and jumped on tanks.

On Aug. 7, the protesters, affiliated with Hanchongryon, rushed into Rodriguez Range, an area in Pochon about 30 miles northeast of Seoul. The range was being used to demonstrate the Army’s Stryker armored-personnel carrier.

Photographs showed U.S. soldiers and protesters in a tug-of-war over an American flag, while other demonstrators were seen on top of armored vehicles.

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