Vehicle Billboard Advertisements – North Korean Capitalism or Propaganda?
A billboard advertisement for the sale of North Korean produced cars and trucks of the Pyeonghwa Motor company.
Perhaps I missed them last year, or perhaps they are new, but this year I found two more vehicle billboards each located in the countryside outside Pyongyang – In 2011 I saw only one car advertisement billboard located in the Pyongyang city center. In my first post about the North Korean vehicle billboards I made the simple suggestion that perhaps the Pyongyang vehicle billboard advertisement is an indication of capitalism creeping its way into the North Korean system, but upon further investigation I have found it suggested that these billboards are nothing more than propaganda.
Car and Driver magazine says:
Because the private sale of nearly everything is officially banned, North Korea doesn’t have much use for billboards—other than for cartoonish propaganda, of course. But the country is obsessive about putting on a good face, so much so that it maintains an idyllic fake village at the end of the South Korean border. It may well be that the purpose of the billboard for the Pyeonghwa Motors model Whistle is to advertise to the small group of foreign businessmen in North Korea, but it’s more likely they’ve set it up to dupe the locals into thinking the country is doing well enough for car ads. (It’s not.)
With such a low production output, 314 cars produced in 2003 and 400 in 2005, I think the case made that these advertisements are simply propaganda is pretty valid.
- A Load of Firewood in the North Korean Countryside (americaninnorthkorea.com)