Net pains for North Korea reporters at Asian Games

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A file photo shows North Korean delegates waving national flags before a men's football match against China at the Asian Games in Incheon, September 15, 2014

A file photo shows North Korean delegates waving national flags before a men's football match against China at the Asian Games in Incheon, September 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

North Korea's reporters at the Asian Games will have to file stories using fax because their web access is restricted in South Korea, an official said Tuesday.

Seoul's Ministry of Unification said North Korean media would not be given special access to their country's websites, which are blocked in South Korea.

This means that fax machines are being dusted off and whirring into action as the Games get underway this week.

"As all South Koreans know, there is no direct communication line between two Koreas. And North Korean websites are banned here," a unification ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

"North Korean delegates tried to access their own state websites and of course it did not work.

"So they are using fax machines, just like we South Korean officials, whenever we visit the North to attend official talks, use fax machines to communicate with the headquarters in Seoul."

Members of North Korea's tightly controlled media, easily recognisable at the Asian Games by their team tracksuits, are among a large delegation which has crossed the Korean border.

On Tuesday, North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper carried a four-page story on their 3-0 football win over China -- without mentioning where the Asian Games are being held.

Separately, an organising committee official told the Korea Times that the North Koreans had asked for wifi in their accommodation, a rare privilege in the reclusive state.