April 08, 2020 10:53
North Korea is recruiting large numbers of women to look after foreign visitors as the isolated regime focuses on building up its tourism industry.
A source on Tuesday said the Workers Party politburo has set up a new department and is recruiting women as tour guides during the day and hostesses by night.
Women who are recruited to entertain high-ranking officials are chosen based on their loyalty to the party, but the new hostesses will be chosen based on their looks and vivacious personality.
"Politburo members will choose the finalists based on physical exams and interviews," the source said. "One hundred have already been chosen and are undergoing training."
"They will work in hotels and bars to cater to foreigners as soon as the coronavirus pandemic eases," the source added.
There are rumors that they will charge US$100 an hour for their companionship, 70 percent of which will be confiscated by the party.
"Rumors say that the women will earn a lot of money, so there've been a lot of applicants. Many women who'd worked in restaurants abroad returned to the North to apply."
One former senior North Korean official said, "North Korean authorities are in desperate need of money due to international sanctions, so they're even preparing to offer 'kisaeng' tourism packages," referring to entertainers similar to the Japanese geisha.
Tourism is practically the sole source of hard currency for the North under international sanctions. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is personally pushing frantic construction in the Samjiyeon, Wonsan and Kalma tourist zones.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com