North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Associated Press Opens Pyongyang Bureau

Associated Press President Thomas Curley (L) shakes hands with Korean Central News Agency President Kim Pyong Ho, after formally opening the AP's Pyongyang bureau on 16 January 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

The Associated Press [AP] opened its Pyongyang bureau on 16 January (Monday), six months after reaching a preliminary agreement.  AP President Thomas Curley and Korean Central News Agency [KCNA] Director-General, Kim P’yo’ng-ho formally opened the bureau office.  The AP joins Xinhua and ITAR-TASS, as the only full-time news bureaus in Pyongyang.  KCNA reports:

The Pyongyang Bureau of the Associated Press of the United States was opened with due ceremony at the Korean Central News Agency on Monday.

Present there were the delegation of the Associated Press headed by its President and CEO Thomas Curley.

Kim Pyong Ho, director general of the KCNA, officials concerned and AP bureau staffers attended.

Earlier, there were talks between the two delegations at the KCNA.

An agreement on the establishment of the AP Bureau in Pyongyang was signed.

Kim Pyong Ho and Thomas Curley inked the agreement.

Thomas said the opening of the bureau would bring hundreds of millions of people around the world the cultural understanding and access to stories of political and economic development of the DPRK.

He has great expectations for good journalism, he said, adding this is a great opportunity to just understand and report.

The participants toured the bureau office.

Supreme People's Assembly Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop meets with a delegation of the Associate Press in Pyongyang on 16 January 2012 (Photo: KCNA)

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January 2012