The Associated Press is expanding its Global Media Services operation to include a new facility in North Korea. AP will also upgrade its existing live facilities in Cuba and China.

AP GMS has operated in North Korea since 2002 but will now offer a dedicated HD live position to customers.

A new ‘plug-and-play’ facility on the terrace of the Yangakkdo International Hotel also features a panoramic view of Pyongyang’s skyline and the Juche Tower.

The upgrade of the Havana facility includes four HD paths to meet increased demand from broadcasters due to the changing relationship between Cuba and the US.

The AP GMS office in China has moved to join the main AP bureau in Beijing, which features new indoor studio facilities and a background view of central Beijing.

“The developments are in response to trends and developments in the market,” said AP global media services director Andy Braddel.

“The thaw in US-Cuba relations means more broadcasters are now getting the opportunity to go into the country and there will be a steady stream of stories emerging from Cuba.

“The demand for live content from across the globe is also increasing. However, retaining fixed facilities in numerous countries is beyond the budget of most broadcasters.”