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AP beats rivals with in-depth coverage on major North Korean policy shift

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Jan. 15, 2024. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY / KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP

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TONG-HYUNG KIM AND JIWON SONG

When North Korea declared a major policy change in how it will treat South Korea, AP’s Seoul bureau beat the competition from start to finish, with both urgent spot coverage of the crucial story and with unrivaled analysis that highlighted the difference of this development from the steady drumbeat of other North Korean provocations.

The news stunned observers: Pyongyang was no longer interested in reconciliation with war-divided rival South Korea and would rewrite its constitution to cement Seoul as its biggest enemy. But it took Seoul’s Kim Tong-hyung, working with colleagues, to quickly recognize just how big the news was. Kim was faster than all rivals in pushing out the breaking news, writing an alert and urgent follow-up stories that filled in crucial context, beating other international agencies to the wire. Kim, assisted by news contractor Jiwon Song, was also quicker than competitors with a widely used follow-up analysis, positioning AP as the media leader in smartly framing this big event for the world. AP’s fast, comprehensive coverage, both the spot coverage and the analysis, was published broadly by our clients around the world, including the Washington Post and ABC.

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