State Department to Correspondents In North Korea: Don’t Get Taken In!

By Alex Weprin 

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As we noted yesterday, a number of American correspondents are in North Korea this week, as the country prepares to launch its first rocket. The U.S. State Department is not pleased by the trip, however, as a spokesperson explained to Politico’s Dylan Byers:

“North Korea is trying to sell this to the world as being about space exploration, when really it’s about testing missile technology,” he told me. “They’re using the press, using this angle of a space mission, to hide their real goal.”

At the same time, he said, “they are tightly tacking the press into tight areas so they only see military hardware. They’re not allowing them to tour the countryside and see the people who are starving.”

You can read Byers’ full piece here. Every time a foreign reporter reports from North Korea they have a government minder, so that is not new. Should foreign reporters push to be taken to off-limits areas ? Or is it worth having the minders to get the story on the rocket launch?