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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid