N. Korea diplomats threaten African news outlets

North Korean diplomats are threatening media outlets in Africa that exposed the country’s illegal activities, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a broadcasting agency operated by the U.S. government, Friday.

« We will never tolerate such dirty articles criticizing our supreme leader who is our nation’s destiny and future, » wrote Kim Chang Ryop, the North Korean ambassador to South Africa, to the Daily Maverick, a South African newspaper.

The Daily Maverick had published an article on July 12 that said North Korean diplomats have been implicated in the smuggling of rhino horns.

On June 7, four North Korean doctors barged into the office of The Citizen, a Tanzanian daily newspaper, which had reported on illegal clinics operating inside Tanzania. The doctors made violent protests against the daily for describing their clinic as a « rouge clinic, » RFA said.

On May 2, two North Korean embassy employees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) made a ruckus in the office of Le Potential, a DRC daily newspaper, for publishing an article about a North Korean prison camp inside Equatorial Guinea. The two employees wanted the newspaper to give up its source.

North Korea has been putting effort into advertising the hermit state and its supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, using media outlets across the world. But their efforts seem fruitless as a press request by a North Korean ambassador to Angola was denied by ANGOP, a news agency in Angola.

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Nicolas Levi

Analyst on North Korean issues

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