SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- An association of foreign news media reporters based in Seoul has expressed "grave concern" after the ruling Democratic Party criticized a Bloomberg News reporter over a story portraying President Moon Jae-in as "top spokesman" of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The article, published in September last year, drew fresh attention last week after Rep. Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, cited it in her National Assembly speech blasting Moon's policy on Pyongyang.
The ruling Democratic Party issued a statement berating Na, but it also criticized the Bloomberg reporter by name, accusing her of writing a treacherous story, as a South Korean citizen, that insulted the head of state.
The Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club issued a statement expressing "grave concern over the ruling Democratic party's statement singling out a Bloomberg reporter," saying it "resulted in serious threats to her personal safety."
"It is disturbing for any politician to accuse any journalist of treason -- a criminal offence -- for reporting on matters of public interest or voicing an opinion. This is a form of censorship and journalistically chilling," the statement said.
"Questions or complaints regarding an article should be raised with the publication in question rather than personally and publicly targeting a reporter," it said.
Founded in 1956, the club as about 500 journalists from 100 news outlets as members.
Another new missile highlights N.K.'s focus on conventional weapons amid nuclear talks
Trump's pressure on S. Korea raises concern about U.S. interests, alliance
Latest test indicates N. Korea's successful development of new ballistic missile: experts
Seoul-Tokyo ties tipped for deeper rift after Japan's expanded export control: experts
Trade row with Japan, another headwind for Korean economy