Further evidence to show that LSE students were duped

More evidence has come to light about how London School of Economics students knew nothing in advance of the BBC's use of their trip to North Korea

by The Commentator on 15 April 2013 13:33


Since The Commentator broke the story about the BBC's use of the London School of Economics (LSE) to enter North Korea, a public debate has been raging as to whether Grimshaw Club students were indeed duped, or whether they knew full well what was going on.

The accounts differ depending on whom you speak to, but this latest bit of evidence obtained by The Commentator goes some way towards disputing the hearsay that students were informed, in good time and in good faith, that they would be joined by three BBC journalists. The consequences of this move by the BBC are said to have seriously endangered the lives of LSE students and the reputation of the university.

A document seen by The Commentator shows that LSE students were not informed about the attendance of a journalist or journalists at the planning stages of the trip. The document, which states: "What to expect: short answer -  anything" was circulated to students to gauge interest in the trip, and includes a background, prospective itinerary and country profile of North Korea. 

The BBC maintains that students were given prior warning that they would be joined by journalists, though accounts claim that they were only informed of this in Beijing, once the lion's share of the travelling had occured. Some insist that they didn't know at all, and that even if they wanted to leave the group once discovering the truth when inside North Korea, they could not, due to the frequency of flights out of the country (just two to Beijing per week).

The Guardian reports that some students who were on the trip have received letters from North Korean representatives since returning, and some have even reported "death threats".

You can download the document sent to The Commentator here. 

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