South Korea is to open a chain of adult film theatres and add a fifth classification - "restricted" - to the film classification system.

The moves, announced by the Regulation Reform Committee last week, require a change to the Movie Promotion Law under which adult cinemas are banned and films containing explicit sex scenes or extremes of violence are refused a certificate.

With creeping liberalisation, Korean films have already begun to include more graphic scenes. Lies, a tale of sexual exploration by a student and her teacher, and The Isle, which appeared at last month's Venice festival, both managed to shock through their explicit content.

Kin Dae-jung's regime has taken a progressive - and practical - approach despite conservative forces within Korea which argue that such content contradicts traditional Confucian values.

The new theatres will only be allowed to carry limited forms of advertising and films will only be eligible for the new certificate if they are made to certain standards.