BBC Crew Mum About Being Expelled From North Korea

By Chris Ariens 

BBC News correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, producer Maria Byrne and cameraman Matthew Goddard arrived in Bejing Monday after being expelled from North Korea last Friday.

Wingfield-Hayes was detained for 8 hours, then put on a plane to China, “for not respecting the local custom” and “for speaking very ill of the system,” a party spokesman said through an translator.

The BBC’s John Sudworth continues to report from Pyongyang, even tweeting about his colleague. For that reason, the expelled crew isn’t doing interviews about what happened.

“We are very disappointed that our reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes and his team have been deported from North Korea after the government took offence at material he had filed,” a BBC spokesperson said.

The site NKNews reports the BBC pulled at least one of Wingfield-Hayes’ North Korea reports from its website.

The link to the report titled “North Korea: Searching for self-reliance and ‘real people’ in Pyongyang,” was previously active on May 9 but currently shows a 404-Error saying the article cannot be found. Several other reports filed by Hayes from Pyongyang remain active.

Foreign media are in Pyongyang to cover the tightly-controlled gathering of the national congress, the first such gathering for the Workers’ party in 36 years.