- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2019

President Trump has two new allies in his fight against fake news — the state-controlled news agencies of Russia and North Korea.

Russia’s TASS news agency and North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency KCNA have inked an expanded  cooperation pact that includes measures to fight what the two government media arms consider “fake news,” according to a report Wednesday in the Moscow Times.

The agreement calls for sharing news stories and journalist resources to fight what officials say are false media narratives about the two countries.

“We increasingly often see misrepresentation of information in the news environment, and we must counter the the dissemination of such fake news,” KCNA General Director Kim Chan Gwang told TASS, which is the only Russian media outlet currently operating a permanent bureau in Pyongyang.

Neither country scores highly in global rankings of freedom of expression or protections for journalists. In the 2019 World Press Freedom Index released by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, Russia ranked 149th and North Korea 179th — ahead of only Turkmenistan — on a list measuring media independence, safety for journalists and the strength of legal protections for the press.

Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that imposes fines on Russians who spread “fake news” online, the Moscow Times reported.

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