Oddly Enough

North Korea's latest launch ... beer

North Korean women work at the Taedonggang Beer factory in the North Korean capital Pyongyang in this file photo from May 3, 2004. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

SEOUL (Reuters) - Communist North Korea’s latest launch is sure to cause much frothing ... it is a locally brewed beer that promises drinkers it will help ease stress.

The impoverished state this week launched an advert on state TV for Taedonggang beer, a tipple it has been quietly brewing since shifting an entire brewery it bought in Britain to North Korea.

State TV shows almost no adverts -- although programming about local factories is common -- so the beer advert is a rare step towards commercialism.

Set to chirpy music and low-quality graphics, the ad opens with a glass filling with draught beer and the slogan: “Pride of Pyongyang.”

In the ad aired Thursday, the beer is consumed by a miner dripping with sweat and served to well-attired urban dwellers by attractive young women dressed in traditional Korean clothes.

“It represents the new look of Pyongyang,” said the ad, monitored Friday in Seoul. “It will be a familiar part of our lives.”

The brew has been sometimes available in South Korea. It sells at hotels for foreigners in the North Korean capital for around $1.50 (91 pence).

Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by David Fox