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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN

About discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.

North Korea’s Traffic Police Girls as Style Icons

Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Feb. 25 – North Korea may have a few things, but one of the more implausible – unless you happen to be a raving Leninist – is fashion style. Yet that is just what Pyongyang’s traffic police girls have become. Having traveled to Pyongyang numerous times on business (China Briefing even produced a North Korea special investment issue in pre-George Bush days, available here), the charabanc journey from Pyongyang’s Sunan Airport to downtown Pyongyang is remarkable for one thing – a distinct lack of traffic. Yet towards the city center, empty highways are policed by attractive, crisply-uniformed traffic girls, who, whistle poised, complete pirouettes worthy of Svetlana Zhakarova mixed with a tinge of British naval fashion circa Admiral Nelson.

In a city that on the surface appears remarkably quiet and empty, Pyongyang’s traffic girls add to the surreal appeal of Pyongyang – a mixture of sex, uniforms and authority. It would drive any latent BDSM aficionados nuts. With uniforms supposedly designed by Kim Jong-Il (the same man who once completed a round of golf with 18 hole-in-ones) they exude an icy authority, yet not without some aplomb. So without further ado, for the weekend, and as a change from the usual doom and gloom concerning North Korea, here’s a look at the other side of Marxist-Leninist life – North Korea’s most beautiful women – their traffic girls.

Explaining where traffic jams could occur. Maybe. If the country suddenly imported a million cars and had any gas stations.

North Korean exports of traffic girl square dancing routines are expected to rise globally.

Probably not discussing the latest Lady Gaga video.

At work. It’s all in the poise.

Want more? Plus Pyongyang traffic girl gossip, photos, articles and online dating? Here’s an entire web site dedicated to them, “Pyongyang Traffic Girls.”

(Editor’s note: the bit about online dating may not in fact be true)

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the publisher of, the founding partner of Dezan Shira & Associates and a serial traveler among many countries in Asia. See his personal travel blog here.

Related Reading
The Definitive Guide to North Korea

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3 Responses to North Korea’s Traffic Police Girls as Style Icons

  1. Deek says:

    Still wondering…why you wrote this article!

    If you send it to CNN/AOL/BBC, it might cross the boundary and be deemed offensive. Feminists might come after you!

  2. Mundo Horta says:

    And the news sad, people in North Korea are starving?
    I don’t see anything wrong with this ladies,in fact they are the most beautiful ladies in the world,-
    -all asian women are.
    thank you for showing this wonderful photos.
    I wish to meet one of them.

  3. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    @Deek – “Feminists might come after me”. Not in North Korea they won’t.

Comments are closed.

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