BBC reporter detained in North Korea, expelled, over 'disrespectful' coverage of Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un
(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained in Pyongyang on Friday as he and two colleagues were leaving the country, and after eight hours of questioning, he signed an apology and was transported to the airport for a flight out, BBC News reported early Monday. Wingfield-Hayes, along with producer Maria Byrne and cameraman Matthew Goddard, were in North Korea covering the once-in-a-generation congress of the ruling Workers' Party. North Korean officials said at a news conference that the reporter was detained over his "disrespectful" reports "insulting the dignity" of the country. O Ryong Il, secretary general of the country's National Peace Committee, said Wingfield-Hayes' dipatches distorted facts and "spoke ill of the system and the leadership of the country."

CNN's Will Ripley, still inside North Korea, said the alleged disrespect was directed at leader Kim Jung Un, and CNN speculates authorities may be especially miffed by reports like this one, which questioned Kim's military qualifications: "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." Once out of North Korea, Wingfield-Hayes will never be allowed to return, North Korean authorities say.

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