SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon has expressed regret over a decision to block a North Korean defector-turned reporter from covering high-level talks between the Koreas at a border village.
The decision to exclude the reporter from the conservative Chosun Ilbo on Monday drew an angry reaction from other South Korean journalists.
Cho says it was ultimately his call to exclude Kim Myeong-seong from pool coverage for the meeting at the border village of Panmunjom.
He says it was an "inevitable policy decision" to improve the chances for successful talks.
Cho says the ministry will work harder in the future to assure that North Korea-born defectors can report on North Korea issues without restrictions.
The ministry says North Korea did not demand that Kim be excluded from covering the meeting.
The South Korean press corps covering the ministry issued a statement denouncing it for a "grave infringement of media freedoms."