Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, producer Maria Byrne and cameraman Matthew Goddard were stopped by officials on May 6 as they were about to leave North Korea, according to a report by the BBC. The team was in the country ahead of the Workers Party Congress, accompanying a delegation of Nobel prize laureates conducting a research trip.
According to the Beeb, the North Korean leadership was displeased with their reports highlighting aspects of life in the capital.
Winfield-Hayes was questioned for more than eight hours by North Korean officials and was forced to sign a statement. All three were held over the weekend but have now been taken to the airport and are expelled from the country.
“We are very disappointed that our reporter Rupert Winfield-Hayes and his team have been deported from North Korea after the government took offence at the material he had filed,” said a BBC spokesperson. “Four BBC staff, who were invited to cover the Workers Party Congress, remain in North Korea and we expect them to be allowed to continue their reporting.”