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AFP announces new bureau in North Korea

Agence France-Presse (AFP) announced Tuesday it will open a bureau in Pyongyang, becoming only the second global news agency to establish a permanent presence in the North Korean capital.

The newswire signed an agreement with the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Paris, which will allow AFP to open an office in the nation where few foreign news organisations maintain full-time operations.

"The establishment of an AFP bureau in Pyongyang  in the near future will help expand the agency's international network," said AFP's chief executive and chairman Emmanuel Hoog.

"AFP needs to be present all over the world to fulfil its mission of reporting news as fully as possible, notably through the medium of images," he added.

AFP's global coverage is governed by the principles of objective, accurate and balanced reporting. 

Its Pyongyang bureau, which will produce photo, video and also text news, will be operational by the middle of 2016.

The office will be composed of two permanent North Korean staff who will work under the supervision of AFP's Asia regional management and work closely with a team of AFP foreign correspondents who will be selected to carry out regular reporting trips to the northeast Asian nation.

AFP will join only a handful of foreign media organisations that have offices in the North Korean capital, including the Associated Press, Kyodo news agency of Japan and Beijing's Xinhua agency.

AFP, one of the world's three major news agencies and originally formed in 1835, operates more than 200 bureaus in some 150 countries around the world.