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North Korea's Kim cancels TV ads: report

world Updated: Nov 08, 2009 09:48 IST

State television in communist North Korea has abandoned capitalist-style commercials after leader Kim Jong-Il expressed his anger, a news report in Seoul said on Sunday.

Yonhap news agency quoted informed sources as saying that Kim was furious when he saw the advertisements, which began appearing on Korean Central Television in early July.

"What is this? That kind of rubbish appeared when China started reforms and openness" three decades ago, said Kim, who is strongly opposed to suggestions that the North should follow in China's footsteps.

He sacked the TV station's head, Cha Sung-Su, according to Yonhap.

The last commercials were aired on August 31, said Yonhap, which monitors North Korean media.

North Korean television started running adverts for Taedonggang beer on July 2, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

Demand for beer has steadily increased since the advertisements, Pyongyang's weekly Tongil Sinbo magazine said.

North Korean TV also aired commercials for quail dishes served at Pyongyang's famous Okryugwan restaurant, and for hairpins and ginseng, the Unification Ministry here said.

Yonhap said Kim had told previously told state TV to diversify its output.

The hardline North clamps down on most visible symbols of capitalism.