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North Korea’s KRT to provide AP with HD video

Thursday 29 Sep 2011
Associated Press President and Chief Executive Tom Curley said today that the agency has signed an exclusive deal with North Korean state broadcaster KRT to provide high definition news video from North Korea to broadcasters worldwide, AP reports.

In Tokyo, Mr Curley unveiled the three-year agreement with KRT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

“Today’s announcement means that AP will be the only news agency to transmit broadcast quality HD video of key events in North Korea,” he said.

Associated Press Television News will also have exclusive rights to deliver HD video feeds for individual broadcasters wishing to transmit their own reports from North Korea.

The deal extends AP’s recent push into North Korea to a level unmatched by any other Western news organisation. AP announced in June that it had also signed a series of agreements with the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), including one to open a comprehensive news bureau in Pyongyang.

Expected to launch early next year, the office would be the first permanent text and photo bureau operated by a Western news organisation in the North Korean capital. It builds upon the AP’s existing video news bureau, which opened in Pyongyang in 2006.

In addition, the agencies signed a contract designating the AP as the exclusive international distributor of contemporary and historical video from KCNA’s archive.

AP is investing at least US$30 million into its video business. Under an 18-month plan, the agency is upgrading all infrastructure to eventually provide HD video.