News / USA

    Associated Press Opens News Bureau in North Korea

    AP President Tom Curley, left, and Korean Central News Agency President Kim Pyong Ho hold an Associated Press Pyongyang sign before hanging it on the door of the new AP bureau in Pyongyang, Jan. 16, 2012.
    AP President Tom Curley, left, and Korean Central News Agency President Kim Pyong Ho hold an Associated Press Pyongyang sign before hanging it on the door of the new AP bureau in Pyongyang, Jan. 16, 2012.

    The Associated Press has taken the unprecedented step of opening a full news bureau in North Korea. But there are questions about whether a Western news agency, with rigid journalistic standards, will be able to effectively operate in one of the world's most closed and repressive societies.  

    It took The Associated Press and the North Korean government almost a year to finalize the agreement to open a full-time news bureau in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

    An opening ceremony was held Monday at North Korea's state-run news agency, where the AP bureau is located.

    AP says the news bureau will be staffed by a reporter and a photographer, both North Koreans, under the supervision of two Americans who will make frequent trips to Pyongyang.

    The head of the Korea Central News Agency, Kim Pyong Ho, was quoted at the ceremony as saying the AP has promised to report on North Korea “with fairness, balance and accuracy.”

    Kim also noted the AP was given permission to expand its operations in the country despite the lack of diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States, where the 165-year-old news cooperative is based.

    Executive editor Kathleen Carroll, speaking from Pyongyang, says the AP in North Korea will adhere to the same standards and practices as it does at all its bureaus worldwide.

    "There's not a government that we cover that doesn't occasionally read a story or look at a picture or a piece of video and have an opinion about it, that they may not like it," she said. "We have those conversations all the time and I don't expect they'll be any different here when they occur."

    But Professor B.J. Lee at the School of International Service of Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul says disagreements between the AP and Pyongyang's reclusive government could prove problematic.

    "AP represents this typical Western objective journalism," said Lee. "They would like to get any possible information out of the North Korean government. But, of course, the North Korean government has so many things to hide at this particular point. There will be that kind of conflict between the AP and the North Korean leadership, particularly about this power transition from Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un."

    The bureau's official opening comes a month after North Korea's leader died. Kim Jong Il's third son, in his late 20s, has been deemed his successor, an attempt to pass power in Pyongyang to a third generation of the family.

    Lee, a longtime reporter for Newsweek magazine, says South Korea's media and government will be closely monitoring the AP reports from Pyongyang, where information is tightly controlled by the state.

    "South Korean media have also tried to set up some kind of operations over there for many, many years. It's very difficult for them to get anything out of North Korea. So they'll be very keen on what kind of information AP will bring out of North Korea. The South Korean government will also be very much interested," said Lee.

    The two Koreas have no diplomatic relations and technically remain at war since fighting to a stalemate in the early 1950s.

    South Korea's Unification Ministry and Foreign Ministry declined comment about the AP's news bureau in Pyongyang. AP has had a small video bureau there, with North Korean staff, since 2006. The news agency has had a bureau in South Korea for many decades.




    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora