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Defector-turned-journalist banned from reporting in Panmunjom

Defector-turned-journalist banned from reporting in Panmunjom

Posted October. 19, 2018 07:21,   

Updated October. 19, 2018 07:21


The Journalists Association of Korea and the Korean Association of Newspapers have denounced the unification ministry for excluding a defector-turned-reporter from the joint press for the inter-Korean high-ranking meeting. On Monday, the Ministry of Unification removed Kim Myong-sung, a North Korean defector-turned-reporter of the Chosun Daily, from the joint panel of journalists put together to cover the high-level talks between the two Koreas at the Peace of House at the truce village of Panmunjom.

“To exclude certain journalists to serve the interests of government institutions is a serious violation of freedom of press," the journalists association issued a statement on Thursday. “Traditionally, it has always been the press corps and media organizations that chose the joint press. No government institution has ever been involved in this matter.”

The Korean Association of Newspapers also issued a statement on the same day to claim, “This is something that would have happened under a military junta,” pointing out that “The unification ministry, which must spearhead the effort to protect the rights of North Korean defectors and help them settle in our society, has committed an act of discrimination against them.” The association called for the government to swiftly issue an apology, punish related personnel including the unification minister, and promise to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Won-Mo Yu onemore@donga.com