North Korea's latest launch ... beer

Fri Jul 3, 2009 7:37am EDT
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SEOUL (Reuters) - Communist North Korea's latest launch is sure to cause much frothing ... it is a locally brewed beer that promises drinkers it will help ease stress.

The impoverished state this week launched an advert on state TV for Taedonggang beer, a tipple it has been quietly brewing since shifting an entire brewery it bought in Britain to North Korea.

State TV shows almost no adverts -- although programing about local factories is common -- so the beer advert is a rare step toward commercialism.

Set to chirpy music and low-quality graphics, the ad opens with a glass filling with draught beer and the slogan: "Pride of Pyongyang."

In the ad aired on Thursday, the beer is consumed by a miner dripping with sweat and served to well-attired urban dwellers by attractive young women dressed in traditional Korean clothes.

"It represents the new look of Pyongyang," said the ad, monitored on Friday in Seoul. "It will be a familiar part of our lives."

The brew has been sometimes available in South Korea. It sells at hotels for foreigners in the North Korean capital for around $1.50

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by David Fox)

<p>Visitors toast each other on a sunny day during Oktoberfest in Munich, September 27, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach</p>