Coca-cola And Samsung Billboards to Appear in Pyongyang

[imText1]Coca-cola and Samsung billboards, viewed by the North Korean regime as symbols of “American capitalism” and “Imperialistic culture,” will soon be visible in downtown Pyongyang just on April 28, 2008.

The China-based Huanqiu Times reported that the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), the Chosun (North Korea) Olympic Committee, and the Pyongyang People’s Committee signed an agreement to cooperate during the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay.

Samsung, Coca-cola, and Lenovo (a Chinese IT company), three of the main companies sponsoring the Beijing Olympics, will be allowed to advertise their products by cars when the Olympic Torch Relay passes through Pyongyang on April 28.

The three companies will be able to distribute pamphlets to North Korean citizens, but the extent of the content of these pamphlets will limited to the history of the respective companies’ sponsorship of the Olympic Games. Outdoor billboards will not be permitted along the relay path.

Additionally, with the exception of Shanghai-Volkswagen (the official car company of the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay), car companies will not be allowed to reveal their logos during the event.

The upcoming Torch Relay marks the first time in Olympic history that the Torch will pass through Pyongyang. Fifty-seven members of the Chosun Olympic Committee, six representatives from the three sponsorship companies, one member of the International Olympic Committee, and four Chinese diplomats will act as torchbearers in the event.

The relay will begin at the Tower of Juche Idea. Sights along the route will include the May Day Stadium, Kim Il Sung University, the Chosun-China Friendship Tower, the April 25 House of Culture, the National Liberation War Memorial Hall, Pot’ong Gate, the People’s Palace of Culture, the Pyongyang Gymnasium, Kim Il Sung Plaza, the Chollima Statue, the Arch of Triumph, and the Kim Il Sung Gymnasium. The total distance will be 20 kilometers.

The Pyongyang leg of the relay will begin after the South Korean leg is complete. The Torch will cross the DMZ by airplane and will be run through downtown Pyongyang from 2p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 28th of April.

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