North denounces reporters by name

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North denounces reporters by name


North Korea denounced several South Korean journalists and media outlets in its state media, calling one of them “a trash reporter.”

The Uriminzokkiri, an online mouthpiece for the regime, posted an editorial yesterday on its Web site titled, “The sycophant of the puppet conservative media and hack writers should be warned of the following things.”

The outlet criticized reports by “conservative” newspapers and broadcasters based in Seoul - specifically the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, Dong-A Ilbo, TV Chosun, Yonhap News Agency, DailyNK, the Segye Ilbo, KBS, MBC and SBS - because they “rationalized the confrontational policies and the revival of the dictatorship of the current [Park Geun-hye] administration.”

The editorial also called out some reporters by name, such as Joo Sung-ha, a journalist for Dong-A Ilbo, which it called a “human trash reporter.”

Joo is a North Korean defector.

It also accused South Korean journalists of writing “false” articles describing the regime as “a reclusive state”; “a failure of its two-track strategy”; and as having “no will for unification.”

There was no mention made of any JoongAng Ilbo or Korea JoongAng Daily reporters.

“It is not the first time that North Korea has denounced our reporters in the South,” a Ministry of Unification official said. “But it is rare that the North Korean media mentions the names of reporters.”

Since its successful launch of a long-range rocket in December 2012 and its third underground nuclear weapons test in February, North Korea has felt the pinch of tougher sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.

The country has recently been hinting at the possibility of a dialogue for peace with the outside world, and reports in several Southern media outlets have speculated that these conciliatory moves could be part of a broader strategy to seek more aid without giving up its nuclear weapons program.

In June 2012, North Korea warned they would stage a military attack against Seoul’s local media companies, suggesting that they would strike them by detailing their precise geographical locations. At the time, the regime had lashed out at South Korean reporters who criticized a national event held in Pyongyang.

In May 2012, Pyongyang also threatened to conduct a “special action” against South Korean media in “an unprecedented, peculiar way,” mentioning names of specific companies and calling them “puppets” of the Lee Myung-bak administration.


BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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