S. Korean reporters who barged into N. Korean envoy's residence deported from Singapore

The North Korean embassy in Singapore. Two KBS reporters arrested for trespassing on the residence of the North Korean ambassador to Singapore were repatriated to South Korea on June 9, 2018.
The North Korean embassy in Singapore. Two KBS reporters arrested for trespassing on the residence of the North Korean ambassador to Singapore were repatriated to South Korea on June 9, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Two reporters of South Korea's largest public broadcaster KBS who were arrested by police for trespassing on the residence of the North Korean ambassador to the Republic were deported from Singapore on Saturday (June 9), the Singapore Police Force said on Sunday (June 10).

It said in a statement it had administered a stern warning to the reporters, two men aged 42 and 45, after consulting the Attorney-General's Chambers.

The visit passes of the two South Korean men were cancelled, and they had been repatriated South Korea on Saturday, the police said.

It added that two other South Korean men -- a 31-year-old who is also a KBS employee, and a 29-year-old who served as the group's guide and interpreter -- were not found to have committed any criminal offence.

"The Police would like to remind all foreigners visiting Singapore to abide by local laws. Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include the cancellation of their visas or visit passes, as well as repatriation," the statement said.

"Members of the media who commit any offence in Singapore will also not be accredited and thus will not be able to cover the Summit between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea."

The Sunday Times understands that police officers went to the ambassador's home after receiving a call at 3.50pm on Thursday. They arrested the reporters, whose names have not been disclosed, at the scene.

The police had said the KBS employees were not accredited media personnel in Singapore.

In a prime-time news report on Friday, KBS -- or Korean Broadcasting System News -- issued a public apology for its employees' "imprudence", amid what it described as a sensitive situation ahead of the June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"We will respect the results of the police investigation and take necessary steps as soon as results are available," KBS said.

More than 300 South Korean reporters plan to visit Singapore to cover the summit, according to the Korea Press Foundation.