The beautiful women of the DPRK

There is a saying throughout Korea that the handsomest men live in the South while the most beautiful women live in the North. Even our two guides, the Messrs. Kim, told this to my tour group. We certainly were greeted by the loveliest women everywhere we went. It is very likely true that the women employed as flight attendants (there were no men flight attendants on any of the five flights I took on the North’s national airline, Air Koryo), museum guides, tourist guides and the Pyongyang “traffic ladies” are hired as much for their beauty as for their skill.

Here are some of the most beautiful women I saw in the DPRK:

Guides at the Great Leader Marshal Kim Il Sung’s secret camp at Mount Paektu.

Our guide at the Monument to the Party Foundation.

On National Day, 9 September, women wear the traditional colourful Korean chima and jeogori and participate in the Mass Dance. Watch a short video clip I took outside the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium:

This guide gave us a tour of the captured American spy ship the USS Pueblo.

A music teacher playing the janggu at the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace.

Our shy guide at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.

The woman on the left was a tourist guide that accompanied another group from Koryo Tours for a briefer tour of the DPRK.

Our group was standing at the other end of the colossal grounds of the Monument to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War, when a dot of red appeared at the other end by the enormous “Victory” statue. When I saw this woman walking towards us from many, many metres away I immediately thought of “Lawrence of Arabia”. She walked the entire length of the war memorial down the centre to the entrance where we stood. Everyone in my group had his camera out as we shot the beautiful Woman in Red.

Pyongyang is famous for its “traffic ladies” yet they are often camera-shy.

Our guide in Chongjin, who showed us the sites where Kim Jong Suk, the anti-Japanese heroine of Korea and mother of the Dear Leader Comrade General Kim Jong Il, demonstrated her marksmanship skills.

Pyongyang pizza makers.

No one else can make boots look so good.

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