North Korea’s next big launch

Don’t we all want to know what’s really going on in North Korea? Well, here’s one fascinating perspective, courtesy of the country’s first televised beer commercial.

There’re usually no advertisements in tightly controlled Communist North Korea, which makes this chirpy spot for Taedong River Beer—“The pride of Pyongyang”—with its almost endearing low-quality graphics, all the more curious. For more than two and a half minutes, we’re shown a new vision of North Korea—one with cheerful citizens yukking it up in a local pub while viewers are assured the beer relieves stress, improves health, and contains protein and vitamins. Of course, nowhere does it say how much a brewsky might cost, and considering North Korea is among the poorest countries in the world (the average per capita income was $1,065 in 2008), it’s unclear how many people could afford it. But there’s one North Korean who can indulge: The ever-mysterious Kim Jong-Il is said to be a major fan.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

North Korea’s next big launch