A BBC crew have been expelled from North Korea over their “distorted” reporting and speaking “ill of the system.”
The BBC said that correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, his producer and cameraman were held in detention over the weekend but were allowed to leave the country this morning.
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North Korea’s National Peace Committee Secretary General O Ryong-il said at a press conference on Monday that the BBC reporter had been expelled for “attacking the DPRK system and non-objective reporting.”
Wingfield-Hayes’s coverage of distorted facts and “spoke ill of the system and the leadership of the country,” he also said.
The North Korean official noted that Wingfield-Hayes was expelled after writing an apology and would not be readmitted into the North.
The three were about to leave North Korea on Friday, but were stopped at the airport and taken into detention.
Wingfield-Hayes “was taken to a hotel and interrogated by the security bureau here in Pyongyang before being made to sign a statement and then released” on Saturday morning, said John Sudworth, another BBC correspondent in Pyongyang.
They remained in Pyongyang until Monday, when they flew to Beijing.
According to the BBC, the team was in North Korea to accompany a delegation of Nobel prize laureates on a research trip to the country.
The team visited a child hospital in Pyongyang. Wingfield-Hayes said in a report aired last week that patients looked well and there was no “real doctor” there and that “everything we see looks like a set-up.”
The correspondent said of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in another report, “What exactly he’s done to deserve the title marshal is hard to say. On state TV the young ruler seems to spend a lot of time sitting in a large chair watching artillery firing at mountainsides.”