IPI criticizes exclusion of S. Korean journalist

SEOUL, The International Press Institute (IPI) has criticized the South Korean government for excluding a North Korean defector-turned-journalist from joining pool reporters for this week's high-level talks with the North, it said on its website Tuesday.

IPI executive director Barbara Trionfi has sent to South Korean President Moon Jae-in a letter criticizing the decision to exclude Kim Myeong-sung of the Chosun Ilbo, a local daily newspaper, from the group of reporters that covered Monday's talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.

The global network of editors, journalists and media executives defined the exclusion "a gross violation of press freedom", which it said runs counter to the core principles of independent journalism.

"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," Trionfi said in the letter to Moon.

Seoul's unification ministry cited safety concerns and other "special" circumstances as explanation for the reason Kim was excluded from the group of reporters.

Kim has worked for the Chosun Ilbo, the country's largest-circulation newspaper, for years and is currently covering the unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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