North Korean Journalists May Cancel Britain Visit Over Ebola Fears

KCNA / Reuters
KCNA / Reuters

North Korean propaganda has whipped up a hysteria over Ebola unlike anything seen in the rest of the world, meaning a planned journalistic trip may have to be called off over fears about the killer virus.

North Korea now requires all people entering the country from Ebola-zones (including Europe) to complete a 21-day observed medical quarantine, reports the Express, a measure that has been in place since October last year. North Korean media is apparently saturated with reports on the disease and its destructive effects.

Propaganda circulated within the country claims the outbreak is man made, deliberately created by the United States to wage biological warfare on its enemies, which has led the pariah state to commit to the strongest Ebola prevention measures in the world.

The hand-picked North Korean journalists were due to visit the United Kingdom in March for a programme of “classroom learning” about British methods and styles of journalism, and use of the internet. Remarkably, British taxpayers were to foot a £70,000 bill for the visit.

The chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on North Korea, Lord Alton said of the potential cancellation: “The Foreign Office might see it as a blessing in disguise if they can be given a reason for reconsidering giving a group of people whose speciality is propaganda rather than journalism the opportunity of coming to the UK.

“I think it has less to do with Ebola and more to do with the insecurity of the regime and their determination to try to prevent any influence by foreigners, aid workers or diplomats”.

The purpose of the programme is to expose North Korean journalists to the open and comparatively free-thinking methods of British journalists, presumably with the intention of fomenting unrest back in their home nation.