Int'l Press Body Protests Against Defector's Ban from Cross-Border Talks

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    October 17, 2018 10:33

    The International Press Institute on Tuesday protested against the exclusion of a Chosun Ilbo reporter who is a North Korean defector from covering Monday's talks with North Korean officials.

    The IPI in a letter to Cheong Wa Dae denounced the last-minute exclusion of Kim Myong-song from a pool of South Korean reporters as a "gross violation," but the Unification Ministry said it would do the same thing again.

    "The exclusion of Kim appears to be an act of discrimination based on his reporting and the fact that he is a defector from North Korea," IPI executive director Barbara Trionfi said in the letter.

    She added the ban "runs counter to the core principles of independent journalism. We fear that the government has set a new precedent, and, in the future, it would attempt to silence any journalist who is critical of North Korea or the talks between the two countries."

    The IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and journalists. Kim settled in South Korea in 2002 and joined the Chosun Ilbo in 2013, where he has been assigned to cover the Unification Ministry. But the ministry apparently felt that sending a defector would be seen as a slap in the face by the North.

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