Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
China 13 January 2006

Government lies used to conceal visit by North Korea’s “Dear Leader”

Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today at the news blackout imposed by the Chinese authorities on a visit by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, which no Chinese news media has mentioned. One official after another at every level has repeatedly denied that any such visit is taking place.

“This is not so much a lack of transparency as an orchestrated state lie to protect the planet’s worst dictator,” the press freedom organisation said. “Are the Chinese authorities ashamed of their troublesome ally.”

Kim arrived in China in his armoured train on 10 January. Today (13 January) he is said to be in southern China visiting the city of Shenzhen, the symbol of Chinese capitalism. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported that Kim stayed in the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou. All other visitors were asked to leave the hotel, which - according to the receptionists - was full.

There are many accounts confirming the visit, despite the denials by Chinese and North Korean diplomats. A Japanese commercial TV station today broadcast footage shot clandestinely that showed Kim outside a luxury hotel in Guangzhou. Agence France-Presse reporters meanwhile confirmed the existence of extraordinary security measures around the hotel.

A North Korean diplomat told the Russian news agency Interfax that, “none of our government figures is currently in China.” At a press briefing yesterday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said: “I know that you are all very interested in knowing [where Kim is] but for the time being I have nothing. Each country has its own way of giving out information.”

For “security” reasons, the Chinese government usually does not announce a visit by Kim until he has already returned home. The North Korean media never mention visits by the “Dear Leader” until the day afterwards.




In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed