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Politics

North Korea rumours pinned down first by reports in Asia and Washington

How do you check a rumour that Kim Jong-il, leader of the world’s most isolated state, may be dying? Reuters tipped off colleagues in Beijing and Tokyo to check the one thing that might confirm the rumour — if he failed to attend the country’s 60th birthday parade. Reuters was so fast to report the parade was delayed, with plenty of context on what that might mean. Tokyo bureau then alerted a report from Kyodo news agency, the only major foreign media with a reporter in Pyongyang on the day, that Kim did not show up. Reuters beat Bloomberg by more than 8 minutes and Dow Jones limped in three hours later. From Washington we reported from intelligence sources ahead of all other media that Kim was believed to have suffered a stroke and was seriously ill. The combined reporting put us ahead on the key issue affecting the stability of the Korean peninsula.

Article Tags
Topics of Interest: Politics
Type: Reuters Best
Regions: Asia
Countries: North Korea
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