North Korean Dictator Enjoys Walt Disney Characters Without Company's Blessing

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems to enjoy Walt Disney characters, but not with the official green light from the entertainment conglomerate.

A North Korean band, whose members were dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Minnie Mouse and other Disney characters, in early July performed in front of the dictator, while clips of Disney movies, such as Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo, played in the background, Bloomberg News reported. State-run TV network KRT showed Kim and a group of generals clapping along to the concert in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, it said.

A Disney spokeswoman told THR though that the entertainment company didn’t authorize or agree to a license deal with the totalitarian state for the use of the company's characters. The Bloomberg report didn't say whether Disney could take any steps beyond commenting on the situation.

According to Bloomberg, the state-run Korean Central News Agency had not mentioned the Disney films or characters in its coverage of the concert by the band called Moranbong.

The agency reported that the concert was "prompted by a grandiose plan to bring about a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year,” according to Bloomberg.

Kim, who succeeded his late father Kim Jong Il in December, has not reacted to U.S. and South Korean appeals to abandon North Korea’s long-running nuclear program.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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