OECD Discord To The Tune of 'Martin Seoul'

Publish date:
Updated on

Fifty-five years of peace on the Korean peninsula suffered a minor setback last week after Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin landed in Seoul for a two-day ministerial session of the 30-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to a published report, Martin held a press conference that U.S. Embassy officials limited to U.S. media outlets, angering an excluded journalist with the Korean Times.

Reporter Cho Jin-seo described Martin's press conference as “a back-door meeting” planned by the FCC, and “officials from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul blocked access to reporters from other countries.”

Cho anonymously quoted an OECD official on the press management ways of U.S. government officials in other parts of the world.

“They are Americans,'' the OECD official said. “They do that in Paris, too.” OECD is based in Paris.

Cho wrapped up his dispatch by saying an unnamed U.S. Embassy official apologized for any “impoliteness” shown to excluded reporters.

Martin's visit to South Korea was the first leg in a two-week Asia tour that includes meetings in Beijing, China, and Singapore, an FCC official said.

Evidently, Martin decided that a lengthy overseas trip was a better use of his time than traveling the U.S. to promote the national transition to digital television on Feb. 17, 2009. An FCC spokesperson said Martin still had plenty of time left to devote to DTV issues.