N. Korea expels reporter as Kim Jong Un warns "hostile forces"

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the first congress of the country's ruling Workers' Party in 36 years, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang May 8, 2016.

REUTERS

The relationship between the North Korean government and the foreign press is a complicated one. An already-tense situation was made even worse Monday when the government expelled a reporter after taking issue with his coverage.

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BBC correspondent Rupbert Wingfield-Hayes

BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained Friday when he and his team were due to depart Pyongyang. According to the BBC, he was interrogated for more than eight hours because the North Korean government was not pleased with his reports on life in the capital.

"Pyongyang is not North Korea. Pyongyang is a bubble," Wingfield-Hayes said in his report.

North Korean officials said Wingfield-Hayes distorted facts and spoke ill of the country and its leadership. He was asked to sign an apology before he and his team departed the country.

More than 100 reporters were invited here to cover the Workers' Party congress - the first of its kind in 36 years. But so far, we've been shut out, relegated to watching on state TV. The event has been a coronation of sorts for Kim Jong Un, the young leader of this rogue nuclear state. He used the occasion to repeat a pledge not to use nuclear weapons, unless North Korea's independence is threatened.

"We will not use nuclear weapons first," he said, "unless aggressive hostile forces use them to invade our sovereignty."

He called his country a "responsible nuclear state," but North Korea has said it will only dismantle its arsenal when the rest of the world does the same. In the meantime, the party voted to boost the nuclear program in "quality and quantity."

While Kim maintains committed to boosting his country's nuclear capabilities, he's also said investment in the economy is equally important and signaled a willingness to engage with the international community.