NPR to close Kabul bureau

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When the 13-year international combat mission ends in Afghanistan Dec. 31, NPR’s Kabul bureau will also close.

NPR decided in 2012 that it would close the Kabul bureau this year because of the planned reduction of U.S. troops in the country, according to an NPR spokesperson.

Starting in 2015, coverage of Afghanistan will be handled by Philip Reeves, NPR’s correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan.

“We are confident that Phil Reeves can cover the news coming from Afghanistan,” said Edith Chapin, senior supervising editor of NPR’s International Desk, through a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, NPR is shifting its priorities and resources to Seoul, South Korea, where it will open a bureau early next year.

“As part of our mission to explain the world to our audience, this is the logical next location as two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in Asia by 2025,” said Chapin. “South Korea is at the nexus of geopolitical, business, technology and culture stories.”

As for Sean Carberry, NPR’s Kabul correspondent, his contract with NPR will also end Dec. 31. Carberry has been the permanent correspondent in Kabul since 2012.

NPR first opened its Kabul bureau in 2006 with reporter Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. In 2010, Nelson won a Peabody Award for her coverage of the country.

NPR has no plans to reopen the Kabul bureau in the future.