The Associated Press has opened a bureau in Pyongyang, North Korea, becoming the first international news organization to have a full-time presence in the country.
The office is located inside “the headquarters of the state-run Korean Central News Agency in downtown Pyongyang,” the AP says.
The bureau is staffed by two natives, reporter Pak Won Il and photographer Kim Kwang Hyon, who reported for AP in recent weeks on Kim Jong Il’s funeral. Supervising Pak and Kim will be Korea Bureau Chief Jean H. Lee and Chief Asia Photographer David Guttenfelder, who will apparently not be based in Pyongyang but will “make frequent trips to … manage the office, train the local journalists and conduct their own reporting.”
At a ceremony yesterday officially opening the bureau, AP president and CEO Tom Curley said: “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.”
This will be interesting, to say the least.