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Russian, North Korean State Media Team Up to Fight ‘Fake News’

Valery Sharifulin / TASS

State media outlets in Russia and North Korea have signed a new cooperation agreement that includes plans to counteract “fake news” together, the state-run TASS news agency reported Wednesday.

TASS and North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) previously signed a cooperation agreement in 2005. TASS is currently the only Russian media outlet to operate a permanent bureau in Pyongyang.

The agreement includes provisions for exchanging news stories and information in addition to countering fake news together.

"We increasingly often see misrepresentation of information in the news environment, and we must counter the dissemination of such fake news," TASS quoted KCNA general director Kim Chan Gwang as saying. "I believe that the KCNA and TASS news agencies must join efforts toward this goal.”

TASS general director Sergei Mikhailov stressed the need to “supply news from various points of the globe, and of course from [North Korea], which is now in many respects the focus of attention of the global media.”

The two news agencies have also agreed to provide assistance to each others’ journalists, TASS reported.

Earlier this week, the head of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s press department had said that Russian media outlets "fairly and objectively report the principled positions of leadership of [North Korea] in the ongoing disputes between Washington and Pyongyang,” TASS reported.

Countries including the United States have accused Russia of spreading so-called “fake news” as a way to influence elections and sway public opinion abroad, claims the Kremlin denies. Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial law that imposes fines for spreading “fake news” online.

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