Dateline Pyongyang: AP to Open Bureau in North Korea

The news we get out of North Korea seems to pretty much fall into two categories: One, cartoonish tales of the glorious achievements of the government, the people and their beloved leader Kim Jong Il; and, Two, disturbing reports about starvation, torture, defection and the world’s ultimate cult of personality. It is easy to guess which types of stories are the truth, but it is very hard for those of us in the West to actually know what is the truth. But perhaps that is about to change. After reaching an agreement with the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the Associated Press has been given permission to open a bureau in the former North Korean capital city of Pyongyang.  This will make it the first Western print and photojournalism organization allowed to do so (AP Television News, which established a Pyongyang office in 2006, was the first Western news service of any kind in North Korea.) So perhaps we can look forward to a steady stream of reliable day-to-day news reports from inside North Korea. We have to wonder, though, what kind of hardships and scrutiny Western journalists will face living and working under the watchful eye of such a repressive government. (The Atlantic Wire – AP into Pyongyang)