SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- Technological equipment used for news coverage is subject to U.S. sanctions on North Korea, a South Korean government official said Thursday in response to a controversy over a recent ban on South Korean reporters taking some devices into the communist neighbor.
The U.S. Department of Commerce does not apply sanctions to laptops and other key equipment used by reporters under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) on dual-purpose goods.
But there's no such automatic exception in Washington's sanctions against Pyongyang under legislation, the foreign ministry official told reporters on background. He added that government-level consultations with the U.S. are required when reporters and TV crews plan to bring equipment into North Korea.
Earlier this week, civilian groups of South and North Korea had a two-day event at Mount Kumgang along the North's east coast to commemorate inter-Korean summit agreements that were signed last year.
The Ministry of Unification, which handles Seoul's policy on Pyongyang, banned ten South Korean reporters from bringing their equipment into North Korea.
The ministry cited the need to complete discussions on the matter with the U.S. government.
The reporters traveled to the venue without certain equipment.