North Korea expels 3 BBC journalists

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North Korea on Monday expelled three BBC journalists it had detained days earlier for allegedly “insulting the dignity” of the authoritarian country, sending them off on a flight to Beijing. Correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes and his team had accompanied a group of Nobel laureates, and were stopped at the Pyongyang airport, detained and questioned.

O Ryong Il, secretary-general of the North’s National Peace Committee, said Wingfield-Hayes’ news coverage distorted facts and “spoke ill of the system and the leadership of the country.” He said Wingfield-Hayes wrote an apology, was being expelled Monday and would never be admitted into the country again.

North Korea did not reveal which of the team’s reports it was upset with, but in one of the segments, North Korean officials are seen arguing with Wingfield-Hayes over video shot in front of a statue of national founder Kim Il Sung.

“They clearly felt that we said stuff that was not respectful to the great leader,” Wingfield-Hayes said in the segment. He said they were ordered to delete the footage or they would not be allowed to leave the university campus where they were filming.

Another segment included a tour of a modern-looking hospital that Wingfield-Hayes expressed doubts about. “The children we’re shown look remarkably well, and there isn’t a doctor in sight. … Everything we see looks like a setup,” he said.

[AP]

This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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