North Korea maintains tight controls on U.S. journalists' trip to Korean War anniversary events

Seth Doane in North Korea
CBS News' Seth Doane arriving in North Korea.

(CBS News) CBS News is getting a rare look inside North Korea 60 years after an armistice brought a cease-fire in the Korean War.

CBS News' Seth Doane was allowed inside the communist country to report on the anniversary.

Reporting from Pyongyang, Doane said on "CBS This Morning" Thursday, "It is quite a rarity to get in here, and once here, everything is quite choreographed. We're told what we can see, where we can go, where we can stand, and the two minders that have been assigned to CBS are always by our side. Even just getting into this country is quite an adventure."

The flight to Pyongyang was packed with journalists -- and filled with propaganda. The in-flight magazine showed glossy photographs of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung, and his grandson Kim Jong Un -- the current supreme leader.

The in-flight entertainment signaled that journalists would see -- and hear -- exactly what the North Koreans wanted them to. No headphones needed.

Inside North Korea, Doane and the other journalists were escorted on buses to specific sites; they were told where they were headed just before they depart.

On Thursday, Doane witnessed the grand opening of a cemetery for veterans. Many of the women wore their finest traditional dress. In the crowd, CBS News spotted retired U.S. Navy pilot Thomas Hudner. Hudner traveled to North Korea this week on a personal mission to search for the remains of his wingman, killed during the Korean War.

Doane said to Hudner, "You were on the other side of this when you were fighting."

Hudner said, "Yes I was."

Doane said, "How is it to stand here and watch this today?"

Hudner replied, "Well, it's rather emotional, frankly."

More than 60 years later, this is his first trip back to North Korea. He was impressed by the turnout. "It may formally have been an honor for the Korean veterans, but it's a tribute to all of us, and I'm very proud of that," Hudner said.

Supreme leader Kim Jong Un made an appearance to lay a wreath at the memorial for war veterans.

Hyun Un Ki, whose son is buried at the cemetery, told CBS News, "My son was a hero and today he was praised by Kim Jong Un."

Doane added on "CBS This Morning," "Here there's really publicity that (Kim Jong Un is) getting from two sides. Overseas, he's seen as the type of leader who is presiding in front of huge masses of people, getting rounds of applause and opening grand new memorials. And here, inside North Korea, he's seen as the type of leader who warrants this sort of international attention."

Watch Seth Doane's full report above.