Home GRASP/Korea Concern raised over South Korean treatment of Bloomberg reporter

Concern raised over South Korean treatment of Bloomberg reporter

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Journalists’ organizations are criticizing South Korea after the country’s ruling party singled out a reporter over what it claimed was a “borderline traitorous” article.
SEOUL, South Korea — International journalists’ organizations are criticizing South Korea’s press freedoms after the country’s ruling party singled out a Bloomberg reporter with South Korean nationality over what it claimed was a ‘‘borderline traitorous’’ article insulting President Moon Jae-in, resulting in threats to the reporter’s safety.
The Democratic Party said Tuesday that it has no immediate plans to withdraw a March 13 statement by spokesman Lee Hae-sik, who attacked the reporter by name over a September article whose headline described the liberal Moon as acting as the ‘‘top spokesman’’ of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the U. N. General Assembly.
Lee the next day also attacked a New York Times article published last October that said Moon was serving as Kim’s ‘‘agent’’ while advocating diplomacy with North Korea. Lee tried to discredit the Times story by bringing up its South Korean author’s nationality. Lee said it was ‘‘merely an article written by a black-haired wire reporter,’’ but didn’t call out the writer by his name. In South Korea, the expression ‘‘black-haired’’ is commonly used in nationalistic insults against South Koreans working for foreign companies who are said to be disloyal to the country.
Moon’s office has refused to answer multiple requests for comment.
The ruling party statements by Lee came in response to a parliamentary speech last week by conservative lawmaker Na Kyung-won, who borrowed the Bloomberg headline to criticize Moon’s diplomacy with Pyongyang following the collapse of last month’s summit between Kim and U.

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