North Korea’s ‘Pink Lady’ TV anchor, 75, set to be replaced

Is this the end for Kim’s Pink Lady? TV anchor, 75, famous for announcing North Korea’s most important propaganda looks set to be replaced by more youthful hosts

  • Ri Chun-hee, 75, has appeared on state TV channel KCTV for several decades 
  • She previously announced the deaths of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il in tears 
  • Insiders say she is being fazed out in favour of some younger news presenters
  • Kim Jong-un is reportedly pushing for modernization of the state’s media 

North Korea’s iconic ‘Pink Lady’ newsreader is stepping down to be replaced by younger presenters – according to sources in the country.  

Ri Chun-hee, 75, a stalwart of state-controlled channel, KCTV, was once a favourite of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and has appeared on TV screens across the globe for decades.

But under Kim’s new direction, the state is attempting to overhaul its public image and Ri has been given less and less air time.

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The iconic ‘Pink Lady’ Ri Chun-hee has been presenting the news in North Korea for decades

Recently she has been replaced with new younger hosts in a drive to modernize the country’s state network

‘The main motto of Kim Jong-un’s new era is to catch up with the new century and its trends,’ Kang Dong-wan, a professor at Dong-A University in Seoul, told ABC news.

‘We could say that change in direction has been reflected on to programme productions.’

Kang added that North Korean viewers are becoming exposed to outside networks and that traditional news formats ‘don’t sink in anymore’. 

The American network says a younger generation of anchors, dressed in neon suits, will be introduced to try and lure in younger viewers.


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Crowds of people gather in a city square in Pyongyang to watch Ri announce news about the nuclear tests

Experts believe Kim is trying to reform the culture of North Korea as citizens gain more access to outside networks

Ri is perhaps most famous for bursting into tears while announcing the death of Kim Il-sung in 1994 and Kim Jong-il in 2011. 

She was instantly recognisable for her bright pink Hanbok dress and often delivered scathing criticisms of western nations during her time on the air.  

In September, North Korea showed off their high-tech new studio equipped with a digital control room, advanced lighting system and a teleprompter.

Shows now feature computer graphics in the background of the studio. A jubilant anchor in a recent cultural program introduced ways to stay healthy by proudly grabbing an apple from a virtual moving screen.

News reports are still pre-recorded, but there are visible efforts to give them a sense of ‘live’ action.

Among her most famous appearances was the announcement of the deaths of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il

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