When I was transferred to Pyongyang in 1978, there were seven foreign correspondents, two in the Soviet Union and China. The Soviet Union has two Tas Newspapers, one newspaper Pravda, one Novosti Newspaper, two Chinese newspapers Xinhua News Agency and one newspaper People’s Daily, and this newspaper is the official paper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Journalists in capitalist countries do not allow branch offices to open because they only write bad articles about our socialist system.
There are two restrictions on foreign correspondents.
First, if you want to report on an organization, agency, or other individual citizens, you need permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press. You must apply in writing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for permission to report. The name of the organization requesting coverage, the position of the partner, the purpose, the type of information you want to obtain, must be stated, and submitted at least two months before the desired date of coverage.
Second, it prohibits leaving Pyongyang without permission from the Foreign Ministry Press. The only exception is Nampo Port, which faces the Yellow Sea, which has a beach exclusively for foreigners. However, the Diplomatic Ministry of North Korea relentlessly recommended that when going to this beach, avoid it as much as possible, saying “I must have an accident.” If you were to go to another region, you had to apply in writing to the press. (Alexander Zhebin, The Kim Dynasty I See)
As Perestroika and Grasnost (disclosure) progressed, Soviet newspapers became free to work, commenting on the North Korean order more objectively, sometimes critically, and favoring South Korea’s achievements. The article I told came to appear. These trends became stronger after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Increasingly, Soviet correspondents and embassy spokesmen have been called by the Foreign Affairs Press to complain about such reviews and reports. By the spring of 1990, no Soviet newspaper had criticized the North Korean authorities, and no Soviet correspondent had been successful in protesting articles from Pyongyang.
The North Korean diplomat in Moscow, including the ambassador, visits Foreign Minister Schwarnadze and Yakovlev, then a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to go to the Central Committee of the Party and not publish articles that are inconvenient to Pyongyang. He repeatedly offered to take “measures.” In addition, at this time, instead of pointing out the specific contents of the article, it is pushed from a general situation such as “sloppy North Korea’s excessive social system” or “does not help strengthen the friendship between Korea and the Soviet Union” It is. Tired of repeated offers, the Soviet Union has no command of the Central Committee or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to write any articles anywhere in the country anymore.If you have a complaint, go directly to the individual journal reporter He said he wanted it. In 1990, North Korean authorities began to openly pressure Soviet correspondents. The first and second floors a month are no longer allowed to conduct interviews and refuse service at restaurants.
“You can’t entertain because you wrote badly about our country,” said a restaurant manager at Datong River Hotel.
“Take a picture without the presence of our staff, it will not be a problem,” said R. Belov, director of the Soviet Union’s National Committee on Television and Radio Pyongyang, who came to Pyongyang for the first time. Immediately after embarking on a job, he was warned by a Foreign Ministry press official. A correspondent A. Platkovsky of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper wrote an article called “The Rice and Iron Tower” and was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and if he continues to write such articles in the future, “it will not be just free” Officially warned.
Immediately before the 13th World Youth Student Festival held in Pyongyang in the summer of 1989, the frame of the Soviet media representative in Pyongyang was slightly expanded to include Tas News, Pravda, APN (Novosti) In addition, the government newspaper Izvestia, the youth newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, and a branch of the State Committee of the Soviet Union’s TV and Radio were added.
However, in September 1990, when Soviet-South diplomatic relations were established, North Korea demanded the closure of APN and Komsomolskaya Pravda. “Komsomolskaya Pravda” was for reasons such as “we did not objectively report the reality of North Korea.”
At the end of 1991, Pravda and Izvestia closed bureaus, mainly for financial reasons, and the Television and Radio Committee reduced personnel, recalled operators, and left only one correspondent.
They decided to rent a “picture” from a North Korean television station and send it to Moscow with text and comments. (Ibid.)