North Korea detains BBC journalist

The reporter was detained at Pyongyang airport and interrogated for an inappropriate description of leader Kim Jong Un in his coverage. Photo / AP
The reporter was detained at Pyongyang airport and interrogated for an inappropriate description of leader Kim Jong Un in his coverage. Photo / AP

North Korea detained a BBC journalist over his reporting and he was to be expelled, according to media reports.

China's Xinhua news agency cited a North Korean official as saying the correspondent was detained for improper "reportage".

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained at Pyongyang airport and interrogated for an inappropriate description of leader Kim Jong Un in his coverage, CNN correspondent Will Ripley told the network.

He was one of three BBC staff, along with producer Maria Byrne and cameraman Matthew Goddard, detained on Friday as they were about to leave North Korea.

He was questioned for eight hours by North Korean officials and made to sign a statement.

The BBC reported that all three have now been taken to the airport by their minders.

The BBC team was in North Korea ahead of the Workers Party Congress, which entered its fourth day today, the first in 36 years.

They were accompanying a delegation of Nobel prize laureates conducting a research trip.

The BBC's Stephen Evans, who is still in Pyongyang, said the North Korean leadership was displeased with their reports, which had highlighted aspects of life in the capital.

- Agencies

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