In what is reportedly the first television advertisement ever run in North Korea, the Taedong River brewery got nearly two and a half minutes of airtime after a "news" show on Thursday. The spot is about as weird as you might expect: The commercial informs viewers that Taedonggang beer can relieve stress, improve health, and even lengthen your life. The brewer may be making a feint toward Western capitalism here, but it didn't go so far as to claim that drinking beer would get you laid. Too American?
The North Koreans purchased an old Ushers brewery in England in 2000 and moved the whole thing to be reassembled in Pyonyang. Some commenters on the BBC News Web site say the brew tastes pretty good.
Well...what's this mean? Nothing surprising: even the wacky rulers in North Korea know that what Queen Victoria said is true: "Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them."
The commercial follows.