North Korean Waitresses

June 18, 2011 in Daily Bulletin

One strange fact about North Korea is that the country has a chain of restaurants around the world serving traditional North Korean cuisine made and served by North Korean citizens. People aren’t sure about the motivation behind these restaurants with some suggesting that it is an important source of foreign exchange while others argue that it is a product of Kim Jong Il’s ego. Whatever the reason, Sebastian Strangio from the Atlantic magazine recently published this piece on a North Korean restaurant in Cambodia. Some highlights include:

  • The restaurant was full even on a Wednesday night
  • “Sweet meat” is a North Korean euphemism for dog
  • The waitresses perform song sand dances every night. ABBA’s Dancing Queen is one of them
  • The North Korean staff live in quarters above the restaurant and don’t seem to have much freedom to leave
  • In the wake of the Middle East uprisings, North Korean workers abroad were prevented from returning home in case they spread the revolutionary ideas
  • To be allowed to work at the restaurant, the worker’s entire family history is checked, going back to their grandparents.
  • Only the tallest and prettiest girls are allowed to work at the restaurants
  • North Korean agents are on site all the time to make sure that nobody defects. The families of the workers are held hostage by the regime

You can read more over here.

Source: The Atlantic