by Nicki Wood
North Korea, which lately has been raising the stakes in the running for the most backward place on earth, has a widespread hunger problem and an average annual income of around $1,000. It also has tightly controlled state-run television without commercials.
So who will actually see this commercial touting the nutritional benefits of Taedong River Beer, then go out and buy it is not a pointless question. Actually, with the news that Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer, maybe there's real potential for product endorsement.
Is the commercial a hopeful sign that North Korea may be moving into the mid-20th century? Is it hoping to export to China? Or is the government trying to convince the hungry populace to drink rather than eat its calories, in a more ominous development?