On Monday the 16th the Associated Press officially opened its new bureau full time in North Korea. For the first time foreign media will be allowed to operate a full time permanent news service in the country. All this in less than a month after the death of Kim Jong-Il. The office finally opened after a year of negotiations between AP President and CEO Tom Curley and a delegation of top AP editors with the North Korean state. The office is located inside the state-run Korean Central News Agency in downtown Pyongyang.
With this deal in place, full time AP writers and journalists will be allowed to work in the DPRK on a regular basis. The AP itself is reporting that no such deal has ever been reached before because no formal relations between North Korea and the United States exists. For the longest time international journalists have been blocked from entering the country. Every so often a foreign journalist or documentary film maker has been given access.
The office is opened at a significant moment in history. The new leadership of Kim Jong-Un has started and its seems things may become more open. Tom Curley is as equally enthusiastic about the new AP office.
“Beyond this door lies a path to vastly larger understanding and cultural enrichment for millions around the world… Regardless of whether you were born in Pyongyang or Pennsylvania, you are aware of the bridge being created today… Everyone at The Associated Press takes his or her responsibilities of a free and fair press with utmost seriousness. We pledge to do our best to reflect accurately the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as what they do and say.”
I for one hail the new move. With relatively independent media now granted access we will start getting actual news from North Korea. instead of what we usually have, an “unknown source” that makes the most outlandish and ridiculous claims, greedily lapped up by the ignorant West. I am optimistic that this office will bring us honest news reports from a region of the world that is so steeped in the lies of imperialism.