Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Northeast Asia Matters has posted some images and YouTube link of the banned TV commercials.
Cha Sung-su, Chair of the DPRK Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee, was recently sacked from his position. Yonhap reports that Mr. Cha, the State’s executive manager of its television and radio broadcasts, was dismissed because Kim Jong-il recently tuned into North Korean TV and was watching commercials pitching such things as Taedonggang Beer and ginseng. According to Yonhap’s source the General-Secretary was “enraged,” reminding him of the early days of China’s economic reforms. Cha Sung-su had been Chair of the Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee since August 2000, and prior to that Director-General of the General Television Bureau. He has been involved in the DPRK’s television business since the early 1960’s. Mr. Cha seems to be a victim of misunderstanding Kim Jong-il’s characteristically ambiguous instructions. We can only hope that General-Secretary Kim did not react like Elvis Presley and shoot out the TV.
As a further note, two recent KCTV accounts of Kim Jong-il’s guidance tours were not followed up with the usual hymns before reverting to the standard news broadcast.