North Korea’s leading English language newspaper The Pyongyang Times, which slavishly follows the governing Communist Party line, has revealed to the world that the remote outpost of Stalinism has come up with a 30%-proof alcoholic beverage which won’t give you a hangover.
Yes, that’s right. Described by the Pyongyang Times’ clear-headed reporter as a “noble and suave” tasting drink, Koryo Insam is an amber-coloured, 6-year-old elixir of fermented ginseng and “scorched” rice, with no sugar content at all which packs a punch once drunk, but no lingeringly painful payback the next day.
Reportedly brewed by the Taedonggong Foodstuff factory, tipplers in North Korea’s ruling class have been so impressed with Koryo Insam that they have already awarded it ‘National Scientific and Technological Hit’.
And well may they have done so, for the North Koreans don’t need anymore headaches given the ones they are already nursing over a collapsed economy, a starving population, a diplomatic bust-up with China over their continued programme of staging nuclear bomb tests, their near-permanent state of war with neighbouring South Korea and being friendless in the world.