China Central Television (CCTV) scored something of a scoop on Monday when it interviewed North Korea’s most influential news anchor woman, Ri Chun Hui, as part of its Lunar New Year programming.
The piece, which ran on the CCTV news channel, saw the station’s Pyongyang reporter go inside the Korea Central Television news studio to meet with Ri on the set of the national TV news.
She usually appears to read to most important news items – typically those involving Kim Jong Il or Kim Jong Un – and is so closely tracked that her disappearance from the evening news late last year had tongues wagging.
Ri, as The Wall Street Journal reported, was off the air for two months before reappearing on December 19 to announce the death of Kim Jong Il. (pictured right) Ri also announced the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994 and North korea’s first nuclear test in 2006, according to North Korea Leadership Watch:
Ri Chun Hui was born in 1943. Ri received a performing arts education. She began her career as an actress in radio and at Korean Film Studios. She started working at KCTV in 1971, eight years after the TV network was established. She appeared in KCTV’s first color broadcast in 1974. – North Korea Leadership Watch.
In the CCTV interview, Ri said she believes each anchor should have their own style and announce different kinds of news in different ways.
“For example, when we read the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, we shouldn’t sound as if we were shouting but speak gently to viewers,” — Ri Chun Hui
The report provided a rare look at the inside the Korea Central Television news studio, one of the most important places in the government information and propaganda machine.
Ri sits in front of what appears to be a large painting or print of Pyongyang. To her right is a flat screen monitor and two televisions directly face her anchor’s desk.
The studio is equipped with a standard-definition Sony camera:
And the report also showed the control suite for the news:
Here’s the report. It’s notable because Ri delivers a Lunar New Year greeting to China in a mild voice — a departure from the fearless voice we’re used to on North Korean Television.
Here’s a gallery of screenshots from the report, including some of the front of the Korea Central Television building: