- Title: Voice of doom: North Korea presenter back in limelight for nuclear test
- Date: 4th September 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) INTERSECTION PEDESTRIANS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO RESIDENT, TOMOKO TASHIRO, SAYING: "I don't really understand what she's saying, but the way she talks seems very nationalistic. That's the impression I get. I do feel like the way she announces the news is in a way to promote how great her own country is." PEDESTRIANS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO RESIDENT, MASASHI SAKOTA, SAYING: "I know that if something happens (with North Korea), she'll talk (on TV)." SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH MARTIN PLACE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BANK CREDIT MANAGER, MATT WALKER SAYING: "No, I've only seen her on the news, the pink lady they call her, and she's very expressive and excited about things. As I said, I don't know how you can get excited about bombs going off. It just seems very odd." SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2017) (REUTERS) HIGH-RANKING NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR, AHN CHAN-IL, SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) HIGH-RANKING NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR, AHN CHAN-IL, SAYING: "(North Korean founder) Kim Il Sung was very popular (among North Koreans). By speaking through Ri Chun Hee, who was the "mouth" of the Kim Il Sung era, it makes people feel like Kim Il Sung's era is still continuing. There is no one else who can speak as fluently and has a captivating voice like her. Also there has not been a young announcer who could replace her, so Ri has been able to stake a position."
- Embargoed: 18th September 2017 10:47
- Keywords: North Korea KRT presenter newsreader nuclear test Ri Chun Hee
- Location: PYONGYANG, HWADAE, UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, NORTH KOREA/ SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA/ TOKYO, JAPAN/ SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- City: PYONGYANG, HWADAE, UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, NORTH KOREA/ SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA/ TOKYO, JAPAN/ SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Country: North Korea
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0036X6K85J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Wearing a pink Korean dress and flashing a wide smile, television presenter Ri Chun Hee delivered the news of Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test on Sunday (September 3) with her usual gusto.
With her trademark bombastic delivery, Ri announced on state television the hydrogen bomb test was "a perfect success!" and a key step in "completing the state nuclear force."
The 74-year-old grandmother first took to the airwaves in 1971, leaving a career in acting for the broadcaster Korean Central Television (KCTV)
Groomed by North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, Ri's dramatic flair quickly set her apart from other announcers - whether she was angrily denouncing the West or boasting of the regime's achievements and its leaders.
"By speaking through Ri Chun Hee, who was the "mouth" of the Kim Il Sung era, it makes people feel like Kim Il Sung's era is still continuing," said Ahn Chan-il, a high-ranking North Korean defector who now lives in South Korea.
Ri, who usually wears a traditional Korean dress known as a hanbok on air, could also show a softer side.
She famously wept on air when announcing the death of the Supreme Leader -- North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung -- in 1994.
When his son Kim Jong Il died in 2011, it was Ri -- clad in black funeral clothes and her voice trembling -- who delivered the news to North Koreans.
Despite officially retiring in 2012, Ri has come back from time to time for major announcements.
Sunday's broadcast underscored her longevity at a time when current leader Kim Jong Un has purged some party and military officials from his father's era.
In a rare 2012 interview with China's state-run CCTV, Ri said she saves her gentler side for the North Korean public.
"When you read to viewers of our television channel, you shouldn't shout but speak gently," Ri said before giving a demonstration of her softer news delivery.
Ri told CCTV she wanted to help train the next generation of North Korean broadcasters, who she said were younger and better suited for today's television audience.
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