South Korean journalist blocked from attending Punggye-ri event

Pyongyang [North Korea], May 22 (ANI): North Korea has declined to accept the list of South Korean journalists chosen to cover the dismantling of its nuclear test site Pyuung Ri between May 23 and 25. As reported by the Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday, the North Korea's recent move has made it hard for South Korean journalists to cover denuclearisation which is supposedly a media event. "We tried to convey the list through the Panmunjom communication channel at 9 a.m. today, but the North declined to accept it," a Korean unification ministry official said on condition of anonymity. As the North declined to accept the list, South Korean media is highly likely to be excluded from covering the event that the North is planning to hold this week. The steps are being taken to close down the Punggye-ri test site, where North Korea carried out six nuclear tests. "It appears to be technically difficult (for the South Korean reporters) to make a trip to the North today," a government official said. "It is regrettable." North Korea announced on May 12 that it will publicly dismantle the test site located in the country's northern region in a ceremony to which media from South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Britain will be invited to cover. North Korea later invited four South Korean reporters each from a newswire and a broadcasting company for the event to be held from Wednesday to Friday, depending on weather conditions. The site, located in the northeastern region of the North, is where the North carried out all six of its nuclear denotation tests. This comes up after North Korea canceled the high-level talks with South due to the latter's on-going military drills with the United States. The South Korean government further expressed regret over the unilateral decision, urging the North to come out for talks as soon as possible to discuss follow-up measures to the April 27 inter-Korean summit agreement. According to a report, some of the journalists visited the North Korean embassy in Beijing. They considered filing for a visa directly at the embassy but decided to wait for further development between the Koreas. Journalists from the U.S., China, Russia and Britain have reportedly been granted visas and are scheduled to take a chartered North Korean plane on Tuesday. (ANI)
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