The White House press corps has been evicted from its workspace at the hotel where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is staying in Vietnam.
The abrupt relocation from the media center at the Melia Hotel, which included a 200-seat ballroom and stand-up spots for broadcast reporters, happened as the North Korean leader arrived, sending many American reporters scrambling for a new setup.
“The American Media Center will be relocated from Melia hotel to International Media Center,” the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry tweeted Tuesday.
— MoFAVietNam Spokesperson (@PressDept_MoFA) February 26, 2019
The American journalists will now be forced to report on the meeting between Kim and Trump from other locations across the city, including sharing an area set up for the international press.
Witnesses have reported that Kim’s security team forced people out of the area as Kim arrived at the hotel he would be staying in for the second North Korea-U.S. summit.
“You must go now! This way,” a Vietnamese security officer shouted at members of the press corps in the hotel lobby Tuesday morning, according to NBC News.
“Security forces prohibited us from taking pictures from inside the hotel though we could see (state?) camera rolling on him as his entourage came thru,” Margaret Talev, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg, tweeted. “Guards were literally right up on us saying no cameras.”
Security forces prohibited us from taking pictures from inside the hotel though we could see (state?) camera rolling on him as his entourage came thru. Guards were literally right up on us saying no cameras.
— Margaret Talev (@margarettalev) February 26, 2019
NBC News’s Peter Alexander noted that guards did not allow him to take the elevator in the hotel and told him to delete any photos he had taken of Kim’s arrival.
My reporter’s notebook from *inside* Kim Jong-un’s Hanoi hotel, where I’m staying, before I was ordered to clear out of the lobby… pic.twitter.com/Rw4aTLXJIZ
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 26, 2019