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North Blocks Reporter’s Reunion Coverage

Posted November. 11, 2005 07:51,   


It was reported yesterday that the North Korean authorities blocked an SBS reporter’s coverage and news transmission under the pretext of the reporter’s coverage content during the 12th round of Korean War family reunions (November 8 to November 10) held on Mt. Geumgang.

According to reporters who visited the North to cover the event, a North Korean official took issue with an SBS reporter’s coverage on November 8 in which the reporter said, “The South Korean government plans to ask the North to show a converted stance while maintaining the existing policies in which it puts families of those abducted by the North on the list of reunions of separated families.”

The official hindered the SBS reporter from transmitting audio to satellites and his on-the-spot coverage reports, citing that the words, “abducted by the North” and “converted,” are not proper.

The official even said, “These coverage guidelines were under the order of the Unification Ministry.”

North Korean agents reportedly roughed up South Korean reporters, taking them by the wrist in the process of hampering them.

After the incident, two Korean Red Cross officials held a working-level meeting and agreed to cover up it, but North Korean staff also hindered the SBS reporter from covering the event on the next day of the incident.

In addition, when a YTN female reporter wrote a North Korean official’s name on her coverage note at the farewell site for separated families yesterday morning, North Korean officials deprived her of her coverage note. She later took it back from South Korean officials.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com