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Foreign reporters decry DP attack on journalist

Mar 18,2019
An association of foreign news media reporters based in Seoul expressed “grave concern” after the ruling Democratic Party (DP) criticized a Bloomberg News reporter over a story that portrayed President Moon Jae-in as “top spokesman” of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The article, published in September last year, drew fresh attention last week after Rep. Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, cited it in her National Assembly speech blasting Moon’s policy on Pyongyang.

The ruling DP issued a statement berating Na, but it also criticized the Bloomberg reporter by name, accusing her of writing a treasonous story as a South Korean citizen that insulted the head of state.

The Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club issued a statement expressing “grave concern over the ruling DP’s statement singling out a Bloomberg reporter,” saying it “resulted in serious threats to her personal safety.”

“It is disturbing for any politician to accuse any journalist of treason - a criminal offence - for reporting on matters of public interest or voicing an opinion. This is a form of censorship and journalistically chilling,” the statement said.

“Questions or complaints regarding an article should be raised with the publication in question rather than personally and publicly targeting a reporter.”

Founded in 1956, the club has about 500 journalists from 100 news outlets as members.