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North Korea

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1179756.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:52 pm Reply with quote

Not sure how interesting this is, but on my last (and only) trip to the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea, I noted quite a few social oddities.

My favourite was the most sought after profession for young women: the 'traffic ladies'. They wore very smart, turquoise suits and little white gloves, stood in the middle of 'busy' (a relative term, as there were very few mechanical vehicles) junctions and acted in lieu of automated traffic lights.

Another oddity was the sounding of a klaxon at the same time every afternoon to signify the end of the working day in Pyong Yang (about 4pm, if I remember correctly) and an alarm call akin to whale music was sounded in the morning to wake the residents for work.

Grateful if anyone could update my knowledge on this, as it was quite a while ago.

1179757.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote

At least we have a visual now. :-)

Short article about the TG phenomenon

North Korean Traffic Girl fan-site

And a most bizarre YT clip about a purported court case of a TG who was sentenced to death for sneezing while on duty. It looks rather like she's been given a reward for something. Poor girl seems pretty overcome with emotion.

1179762.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:12 pm Reply with quote


I was on a tour bus with a significant number of men who were hell bent on trying to make at least one of them smile...

1179763.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:13 pm Reply with quote

Icing on the cake - vid of TG in action.
Good grief! Hefty choreography, that is. Her neck must hurt by the time her shift is over!

And this will be that odd wake-up call.

1179773.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:24 pm Reply with quote

With regard to the sneezing death sentence, apparently the title of this video and subtitles have nothing to do with any death sentence or sneezing.

She was receiving an award because she not only works every day, she camps out on that corner four to six days a week so she can work without going home. She even continued to work when her parents died, and didn't go to their funeral because work was more important. The North Korean government love this kind of thing and they make a big deal out of it with their media so they can make their people all the more fanatical. This is just brainwashing, trying to make every Korean a perfect little worker bee, although almost as bad as the inference that she was sentenced to death for sneezing... 

1179774.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:27 pm Reply with quote

I remember that wake up call, scared the hell out of me the first time (but not quite as much as the klaxon did, as I was there during some serious incidents with North Korea's neighbours)!

1179776.  Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:31 pm Reply with quote

One of the other delights I remember was the visit to the de-militarised zone. One of my party had been to South Korea the previous week and visited from their side.

The South Koreans were very strict about timings and what people could do when facing the North Koreans. They were told under no circumstances to try to communicate with the North Korean side.

In complete contrast, we were taken to a very nice marble gantry and allowed to wave and do what we wanted: the South Koreans looked rather put out at us enjoying ourselves, as I remember.

Ian Dunn
1180176.  Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:31 pm Reply with quote

As a Teessider the main thing I know about North Korea is that they like Middlesbrough.

During the 1966 World Cup North Korea played Italy at Ayresome Park, the locals supported the North Koreans and they won against the Italians 1-0.

Ever since then Middlesbrough has had a surprisingly friendly relationship with North Korea. Middlesbrough Town Hall has flown the North Korean flag. The Middlesbrough Ladies team have played in North Korea as well.

1192187.  Mon May 16, 2016 9:11 am Reply with quote

According to the UK ambassador to South Korea at the time (2010) Bend It Like Beckham was
" (The) 1st ever Western-made film to air on TV"
in North Korea.

Needless to say, it was heavily edited!


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