Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
One of the DPRK’s most famous faces was recently the subject of a Reuters story, a review of a Chosun Monthly piece on Ri Chun-hui. Ms. Ri is the sixty-six (66) year-old chief anchor of Korea Central TV’s news broadcasts. Many a Pyongyang watcher is familiar with Ms. Ri’s beaming countenance. She is the herald of labor mobilization campaign reports, guidance tours and missile tests. Ri Chun-hui was an actress at the Korea Film Studios in the late 1960’s, but Ms. Ri was dispatched with a reference from Kim Jong-il to the budding North Korean television business in the early 1970’s. She has survived several turnovers in the management and broadcasting personnel at KCTV, making her the longest serving broadcaster in the North Korean media.
Then again, Ms. Ri does not anchor whole news broadcasts, but has become the face and voice of the DPRK Leadership. Not only is she the primary broadcaster of General-Secretary Kim’s guidance tours and visits by foreign leaders, but she also narrates propaganda films about the lives of the Kims. She recently provided her voice in the production of a set of films documenting General-Secretary Kim’s guidance tours February and March of 2009. Ri Chun-hui is not only an employee of KCTV, but also the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department, she has personal and professional ties to senior North Korean elites, including General-Secretary Kim and PAD Director Cho Ik-gyu and she was a member of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly.
While she’s certainly no George Alagiah or Daljit Dhaliwal, I’d still take Ms. Ri and her programmed KWP rhetoric over the lobotomized Wolf Blitzer any day. You can see Ri Chun-hui’s latest guidance tour broadcast in this file.*
*this is an MS Powerpoint file with an embedded video; right click and you will find a “Play Movie” option