ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 24th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Korea Times Accuses USFK of Denying Media Access

» by in: Journalism

The Korea Times is pissed off because it appears USFK finally got sick of the KT’s sensationalism:

The United States Forces Korea (USFK) is accused of forcing media to report under its guidelines, and when they don’t, denying them access.

In response to the latest such case, the Defense Press Corps, composed of 25 outlets, is scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday.

The latest case involves The Korea Times’ report on the April 13 front-page interview article with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John A. Macdonald, titled, “Korea, US closer on missile defense.”

The interview was conducted April 11 amid the brouhaha over North Korea’s rocket launch so the focus was the timing of what the North claimed to be a satellite launch.

Macdonald predicted the launch would be made around noon on April 14 and his forecast was included in the first edition, but was dropped for the second edition in response to a USFK request. The launch took place on April 13.

But the USFK Public Affairs Office (PAO), however, raised the issue with the Times’ defense correspondent over the article, arguing that it should have been a human interest story.

It then didn’t invite the correspondent to an ensuing important media event on April 17, a press conference by Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Korean journalists sought Tuesday’s meeting after finding out that The Korea Times was excluded from attending it after refusing to comply with some requests by the USFK PAO.

An insider from the USFK confirmed that the PAO prohibited The Korea Times from taking part in Admiral Locklear’s press meeting because it was upset at the newspaper for refusing to make major changes in its interview with Macdonald.   [Korea Times]

You can read the rest of the article that turns into a screed at the link.  This article is a perfect example of why the Korea Times, which was once a fine publication has become nothing more than a tabloid in recent years, which is probably why USFK has finally decided to treat them like the National Enquirer of Korea that they are.

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  • tbonetylr
    5:26 pm on April 24th, 2012 1

    Their latest is titled: ‘USFK rapped over press rules’
    With all their accusations I sure hope they don’t ever get a response.

  • Ubercake
    5:50 pm on April 24th, 2012 2

    The worst is when they re-print “Weekly World News” stories as fact.

  • Lazy_Contractor
    6:29 pm on April 24th, 2012 3


    I wonder if any complaining here on this blog (bout USFK being spineless when false media reports are printed/shown) helped them to grow a pair?

    CHEERS (for once) USFK!

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:40 pm on April 24th, 2012 4

    Well, to be fair, USFK acts like a National Enquirer source, but less truthful.

  • Chris in South Korea
    7:43 pm on April 24th, 2012 5

    About time. I doubt they have what it takes to comply with the official regs – not that they would, anyway…

  • Sonagi
    7:44 pm on April 24th, 2012 6

    The Korea Times was once a fine publication? How many decades ago was that?

  • Matt
    8:05 pm on April 24th, 2012 7

    Might be a better idea to keep your “enemies” closer in this case…who knows what the KT will print about USFK now that they don’t have an official source to site…

  • Truth
    8:56 pm on April 24th, 2012 8

    7 if they do not have a source, they will just make one up.

    KT has to be among the worst english language dailies in asia.

    Rok drop is a much better read than the kt.

    A disurbing thing about this story is the overall tone of arrogance of the korean media.
    Koreans seems to think they can bully anyone or anything in order to get their way. They really act a lot like the chinese.
    Funny these bulllies act so tough but are so afraid of opposing viewpoints. They go to great lengths to silence anything or anyone that exposes them..

  • Teadrinker
    5:36 am on April 25th, 2012 9


    It was much better in the 90′s, although I personally preferred the Korea Herald.

  • Teadrinker
    5:39 am on April 25th, 2012 10

    PS. Does the foreign media have access to the South Korean government’s department of defense briefings? I read somewhere that they aren’t notified of these.

  • Sonagi
    2:30 pm on April 25th, 2012 11

    I was in Korea during most of the 90s and stopped reading the KT and KH when I left. The only redeeming articles were regular columns by Koreanists like Robert Fouser and feature stories about life in Korea. National news items were poorly edited day-old translations. For example, in a story on the murder of a South Korean in Vladivostok, one paper reported that the assassin looked Russian while the other reported that he looked North Korean. The two versions were almost identical otherwise, suggesting that the common source was a Korean government English-language press release, which one paper chose to edit by changing the nationality of the assassin.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    3:38 am on April 26th, 2012 12

    @6 – I used to like reading the KT about 10 years ago while taking the subway. They actually tried to report the news without sensationalizing it for the most part back then in their English edition. It seemed after the 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident is when they began their slow descent into the tabloid journalism they are today.

  • Dreamboat Annie
    5:29 am on April 26th, 2012 13

    The President of the Korea Times believes strongly in fortune-telling. That explains alot, eh?

    To some 35 expatriate participants, Shin explained saju, or the four pillars of destiny, which is an ancient Chinese fortune-telling technique, and how it is related to the destiny of a certain time or person.

    Jordanian Ambassador to Korea Omar Nahar, Slovak Ambassador Dusan Bella, vice chairman of Doosan Group Jim Bemowski and his wife Susanne, Christian Dior general manager Vincent Bernard and The Korea Times President Park Moo-jong attended the event as well as CICI President Choi Jung-wha.


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