December 23, 2011 09:40
Chinese authorities have ramped up their checks on foreign journalists reporting in the border region between China and North Korea in the wake of Kim Jong-il’s death.
Chinese security authorities inspected various hotels in Yanji near the border with North Korea on Thursday looking for foreign reporters, while local cameramen hired by two South Korean broadcasters were rounded up for questioning and released later. A South Korean journalist reporting on a warehouse in Dandong was also investigated by Chinese security officers before being released.
On Wednesday, security officers confiscated the belongings of a South Korean journalist who had been reporting on customs facilities in Hunchun, and deleted photos taken along the border that had been stored in the reporter’s camera.
Chinese authorities also inspected the hotel rooms of South Korean and Japanese journalists who were reporting in Yanji, but no reporters from the South were arrested.
It remains unclear whether the bolstered restrictions on reporting followed a request from North Korea. After announcing the death of Kim Jong-il on Monday, North Korea sealed its borders and took steps to keep information from leaking out -- and news from the outside world from entering -- by either jamming communications signals along the border with China or halting visa issuances to foreigners.
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