You might have seen Ri Chun-hee from time to time, but for Western nations, it’s never good news. The 74-year-old is a veteran news anchorwoman for North Korea who officially retired from her profession in 2012.
But she still appears on TV every now and then, usually to announce a militaristic advancement in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Her latest news broadcast certainly didn’t go down well with several countries.
Video Credit: Youtube/Wrath0fKhan
In the announcement, Chun-hee says: “The test of a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted on our intercontinental ballistic missile was a perfect success. It was a very meaningful step in completing the national nuclear weapons programme.”
It was off the back of North Korea’s sixth and reportedly most powerful nuclear test. The nuclear bomb reportedly tested by the DPRK was around five times larger than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki during World War II.
It is also believed that the weapon was designed to fit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, a device that would be capable of reaching the mainland US.
Chun-hee’s announcement was one of several landmark broadcasts that she’s made since her on-screen debut in 1971. She came from a poor family before studying performance at the Pyongyang University of Theatre and Film, where she later was picked up by KCTV
She usually delivered her news reports in her trademark pink suit, but sometimes would wear a Western-inspired look or a traditional Korean dress.
Veteran US diplomat Jason Strother told PRI: “There’s a lot of showmanship that goes into North Korean broadcasting, news anchors use four distinct tones depending on what they’re talking about.
“For instance, there’s the lofty, wavering voice, used when praising the nation’s leadership. That’s Ri Chun-hee’s forte.”
The 74-year-old anchorwoman delivered the news to North Koreans that their leader and founder Kim Il-sung had died in 1994, as well as Kim Jong-il in 2012. She was incredibly emotional and cried when announcing both deaths during live broadcasts.
She’s been brought out of retirement several times since then, including in January last year to claim that North Korea had tested its first hydrogen bomb. This latest blast over the weekend has, unsurprisingly, drawn criticism from neighbours and other Western countries.
Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, described the new explosion as ‘extremely unforgivable’.
While despite being North Korea’s most important international ally, a Chinese foreign ministry statement said North Korea ‘has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China’s government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this’.
Featured Image Credit: KCTV