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Kim gives North Korea’s most famous newscaster, a luxury home

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Kim Jong Un visits the new house of Korean Central Broadcasting announcer Ri Chun Hi.

NORTH KOREA: State media anchor Ri Chun Hi is one of North Korea’s most famous voices after announcing the country’s major events of past decades — among them nuclear and missile tests and the death of a leader — in a resounding, booming voice filled with emotion.

The anchor dubbed abroad as the “pink lady” for her bright, traditional attire was the topic of official North Korean media herself Thursday after leader Kim Jong Un gave Ri a luxurious residence and asked her to continue to vigorously serve as the voice of his ruling Workers’ Party.

Experts say Kim is trying to boost his support from elite North Koreas while the country deals with pandemic hardships and a diplomacy stalemate.

“(Kim) said it is the sincerity of the party that there is nothing to spare for the treasures of the country like her who has worked as a revolutionary announcer for the party for more than 50 years since her girlhood,” the official Korean Central News Agency said. Kim expressed “expectation that she would as ever vigorously continue her work in good health as befitting a spokeswoman for the party.”

Kim met Ri at a newly built riverside terraced residential district that was inaugurated Wednesday in Pyongyang. KCNA said houses in the district were presented to Ri and other people who have given distinguished service to the state.

“By giving houses to those who have been faithful to him, Kim Jong Un would want to further bolster their royalty and internal unity,” said Moon Seong Mook, an analyst with the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy. “Ri Chun Hi is a clear example of such people as she’s strongly propagated his nuclear and missile tests and served as a sort of bugler for him.”

Moon, the analyst, said Ri receives Cabinet member-level treatment at home, appears healthy and is expected to continue to handle key televised announcements at least for the next few years.

Ri’s passionate, effusive style has sometimes generated laughter in other countries. In 2011, a Taiwanese TV station apologized after one of its newsreaders mimicked Ri’s tone used when she announced the death of Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

Monday, April 18, 2022 – 01:00

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