South Korea TV shows secret rehearsal

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean TV station broadcast a secret dress rehearsal of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, but said on Thursday it had taken the footage legitimately.

The broadcast is certain to infuriate the organisers which had reportedly made performers sign confidentiality agreements not to divulge details of the August 8 ceremony, which is directed by Oscar-nominated director Zhang Yimou.

“We went, and nobody stopped us. So we just shot,” a staff reporter at the private SBS network sports desk said in Seoul.

It aired just over a minute of film of next week’s ceremony, including scenes depicting the past and future of Chinese culture, including the unrolling of a massive artwork from which rises a carpet-like object.

SBS did not show the lighting of the Olympic torch at the National Stadium where the rehearsal was taking place, but said a golden phoenix was expected to swoop down into the stadium dubbed the Bird’s Nest for the climactic event.

Chinese Internet bloggers accused the channel of effectively breaking state secrecy laws by showing the footage.

Reporting by Hee Jung Jung and Jack Kim in Seoul and Lindsay Beck in Beijing; Editing by David Fogarty