October 11, 2010 11:58
North Korea invited a number of international reporters to cover Sunday's parade marking the 65th anniversary of the Workers Party. The event, which saw the first public appearance by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir Jong-un, was covered by CNN, AP, NPR from the U.S., Britain's BBC, and Al Jazeera.
But other than live coverage in Kim Il-sung Square by CNN and the BBC, coverage of the major anniversary events was hogged by North Korea's Central TV, and the international press had to use the clips from the North Korea's state media.
North Korea started inviting major foreign media on Oct. 7. Most, hoping to dig up more information on Kim Jong-un, accepted with alacrity, some dispatching their correspondents in Beijing to Pyongyang. This resulted in a flock of foreign reporters congregating in the North Korean Embassy in Beijing to get visa on Friday afternoon. The South Korean media was not invited.
The U.K. Guardian reported on Saturday that some 60 foreign reporters were in Pyongyang for the anniversary. North Korea prepared a press center equipped with Internet connections in the Koryo Hotel and allowed them to cover the parade.
The invitations were apparently part of a charm offensive to ensure a smooth leadership succession.
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