North Korea detains, expels BBC correspondent

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North Korea expels 'disrespectful' BBC reporter

A BBC journalist and his team who covered a congress of the ruling Workers' Party in North Korea are being expelled from the hermit nation after they were detained, the broadcaster said on Monday.

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Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, producer Maria Byrne and cameraman Matthew Goddard were about to depart from North Korea on Friday when authorities stopped them, the BBC said. They questioned Wingfield-Hayes for eight hours, then forced him to sign a statement. The three journalists were held until Monday, according to the broadcaster.

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BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes expelled from North Korea
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North Korea detains, expels BBC correspondent
BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (C) looks on after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9, 2016. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, a BBC reporter in North Korea was detained, interrogated for eight hours and eventually expelled over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said on May 9. / AFP / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (C) is surrounded by the media after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9, 2016. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, a BBC reporter in North Korea was detained, interrogated for eight hours and eventually expelled over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said on May 9. / AFP / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
BBC's journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes arrives at the airport in Beijing, China, Monday, May 9, 2016. North Korea on Monday expelled the BBC journalist it had detained days earlier for allegedly "insulting the dignity" of the authoritarian country, while it continued to keep other foreign media away from the first-in-decades ruling party congress they had been invited to attend. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (C) is surrounded by the media after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9, 2016. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, a BBC reporter in North Korea was detained, interrogated for eight hours and eventually expelled over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said on May 9. / AFP / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (C) is surrounded by the media after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9, 2016. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, a BBC reporter in North Korea was detained, interrogated for eight hours and eventually expelled over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said on May 9. / AFP / FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
BBC's journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes pushes his cart past journalists as he arrives at the airport in Beijing, China, Monday, May 9, 2016. North Korea on Monday expelled the BBC journalist it had detained days earlier for allegedly "insulting the dignity" of the authoritarian country, while it continued to keep other foreign media away from the first-in-decades ruling party congress they had been invited to attend. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
This is a July 30, 2011 photo released by the BBC of journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes. North Korea on Monday May 9, 2016 expelled Wingfield-Hayes a BBC journalist it had detained days earlier for allegedly "insulting the dignity" of the authoritarian country, which has invited scores of foreign media for its ongoing ruling party congress. (BBC via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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John Sudworth, a BBC correspondent reporting from Pyongyang, said there was a "concern over the content of Rupert's reporting," according to Reuters. North Korean authorities have said their problem was with what they described as "disrespectful" reporting from the country, according to CNN.

"When he reached the airport on Friday, he was separated from the rest of his team, prevented from boarding that flight, taken to a hotel and interrogated by the security bureau here in Pyongyang before being made to sign a statement and then released, eventually allowed to rejoin us here in this hotel," Sudworth said, Reuters reported.

The BBC said that all three were taken to the airport on Monday in Pyongyang. Wingfield-Hayes will not be allowed back into the North Korea, authorities in the country said, CNN reported.

The Committee to Protect Journalists ranked North Korea as the second-most censored nation worldwide in 2015, after Eritrea. The Associated Press was allowed to enter the country in 2012, and more than 100 journalists were given visas to enter North Korea to cover the congress last week. But it is incredibly difficult for locals to access independent information.

"Nearly all the content of North Korea's 12 main newspapers, 20 periodicals, and broadcasters comes from the official Korean Central News Agency, which focuses on the political leadership's statements and activities," according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only the elite politicians can use the Internet, aside from some state institutions and schools that can access restricted intranet, it says.

The post North Korea Detains, Expels BBC Correspondent appeared first on Vocativ.

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