IPI condemns exclusion of journalist by South Korea

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South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon walks to board a plane to leave for Pyongyang, North Korea, to participate in the inter-Korean basketball matches, at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, South Korea, July 3, 2018. Ahn Young-joon/Pool via REUTERS.
The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, criticised the South Korean government for excluding Kim Myung-sung, a reporter of the Chosun Ilbo, from the pool of journalists assigned to cover the High-Level meeting at the border village of Panmunjom.
According to information received by, the government removed Kim from the journalists’ pool because he is a defector from North Korea. Kim has been critical of North Korea in his reporting.
Kim Myung-sung defected to South Korea in 2002 and he became a journalist for the Chosun Daily Newspaper in 2013. For the past five years, he has been covering the North Korean issues. In recent days, he covered the visit of the sister of Kim Jong-un when she came to South Korea.
“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 a letter address to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The South Korean minister unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon expressed regret over the decision but said that it was his call saying it was an “inevitable policy decision” to improve the chances for successful talks.
IPI defined the decision of the government as “a gross violation of press freedom”, which runs counter to the core principles of independent journalism. “Kim has been assigned by his editor to cover North Korea and by excluding him your government is attempting to override editorial freedom in a bid to control the narrative around the talks”, Trionfi said in the letter to President Moon. “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.” (IPI)

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