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S. Korean Mission, Asked of Attempt to Privatize Access, Opens It Up

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Can media access to a country's monthly Presidency of the UN Security Council be privatized, to a sub-set of correspondents which has been engaged in censorship and trying to get investigative media thrown out of the UN? A response to the question has been received, and is below.

  The question was squarely raised by South Korea's upcoming May presidency and a notice sent out on April 14 by the United Nations Correspondents Association, which has become Ban's UN's Censorship Alliance, published in full below.

  Early on the morning of April 15, Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access submitted questions about this notice and practice to the contact e-mail listed on the website of the Republic of Korea's Mission to the UN. There was no response.  Later on April 15 it was re-sent to an "alert" address and the PR.

  Here is, or was, UNCA's notice or attempted branding:

The U.N. Correspondents Association is pleased to extend an invitation to you, on behalf of H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the U.N., to a roundtable discussion to introduce the Republic of Korea's Presidency of the Security Council in May and to commemorate the 10th Anniversary (April 28) of Security Council Resolution 1540. A reception will follow the roundtable discussion.

Where & When:

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at the Mission of the Republic of Korea, 335 E. 45th Street (1st & 2nd Avenue).


5:00 - 6:00pm - Panel Discussion followed by Q&A

Speakers include:

Ambassador Oh Joon, Chair of the 1540 Committee

Mr. Terence Taylor, Coordinator of the 1540 Group of Experts,

Introduction by Pamela Falk, President, U.N. Correspondents Association, CBS News

6:00 pm - Reception

Due to limited space, please RSVP to, and specify if you will be attending both the roundtable discussion and/or the reception. This invitation is not transferable.

Best regards,

Pamela S. Falk
President, U.N. Correspondents Association

    Angling for this privatization, Falk of CBS has tweeted such gems as "#South Korea Amb. Oh Joon says #DPRK #NorthKorea will have to answer for crimes sooner or later."

By contrast see public questions if provocations on the Peninsula run both ways, click here for March 27 UNTV video from Minute 1:17, to which PR Oh Joon responded.

  And now, less than an hour before Inner City Press publishes it, the South Korean Mission has responded:

From: ROK Mission
Date: Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 6:41 PM
Subject: Question regarding "discussion to introduce the Republic of Korea's Presidency of the Security Council in May"
To: Inner City Press, Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCAinfo

Dear Mr. Lee, Regarding your questions, the Mission of the Republic of Korea would like to provide the following information:

1. In accordance with the established practice of the Security Council, after the adoption of the Programme of Work for the month there will be a press conference for all UN correspondents on May 2 to officially brief the work of the Security Council in May.

2. With regard to the roundtable event to be held on April 29 together with the UNCA (UN Correspondents Association), the Mission of the Republic of Korea welcomes the participation of UN correspondents who are non-members of the UNCA as long as space allows.

  There are still issues -- it is not acceptable to have to RSVP to the UN Censorship Alliance in order to hear at the South Korean mission about South Korea's month. RSVPs will be sent directly to the South Korean mission, with hope (and continued advocacy) for
increasing access, for example requested Q&A stakeouts after Council consultations by Luxembourg in February and Nigeria so far this month.   Watch this site.

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