PYONGYANG, September 10, 2018 – Do you know how this text was sent, in order for you to be reading it now? From China, only after returning from North Korea.
With journalists used to having wifi connection everywhere (or at least in their hotel rooms), and mobile phones ready to use at any time, 24/7, it was quite a shock to be in Pyongyang, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, for several days. Not as a tourist however, so if you expect some juicy details about nightlife, traffic, or the best restaurants, you are not at the right place.
The main goal for AIPS was to be in Pyongyang, and talk to representatives of North Korea about its Sports Journalists Association rejoining AIPS, after so many years of being not being a member.
For a country with 145 sports journalists just in Pyongyang, and with a rich sports life as it has demonstrated, it is something that is normal, or that should be normal – being an AIPS member.
The crucial steps The North Korean Olympic Committee officials made a first step during 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, contacting AIPS President Mr. Gianni Merlo about returning to the AIPS family.
The next step was inviting an AIPS delegation to North Korea, to talk about all the points needed for the North Korean association to rejoin AIPS. The nation’s Minister of Sport, Mr. Kim Il Guk, who is also the DPR Korea Olympic Committee President, and a former volleyball player fully understands the situation, which he showed during a long and fruitful conversation with theAIPS delegation in Pyongyang.
Meeting the media Together with NOC Secretary General, Mr. Ko Chol Ho, they confirmed that AIPS can count on full support in building a new National Sports Journalists Association in Pyongyang. Meeting sports journalist in the Ice Rink during a training session of the top North Koreans skaters was also important for the same reason. The journalists now understand what AIPS is, how we work, how we can help, all of which was new information for them. They asked questions about AIPS, about the benefits for journalists, about TV rights, accreditation systems all over the world and also how improve conditions for journalists, even in that very ice rink where we had met.
It was nice to hear from the experienced journalists present that they absolutely respect and are interested in our AIPS Young Reporters programme. It means that they are aware of importance of knowledge and learning to do our job well, especially with all the scope of new technologies they will face going out of North Korea, but also inside their proud country. That should not be a surprise, because in the core program of the Workers Party of Korea is learning and teaching.