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 OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??

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Dear Leader
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PostSubject: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:59 am



kim jong-il
Noooooo!!!
NK News is reporting that the trafficgirls are being retired. http://nknews.org/2010/09/exclusive-pyongyang-traffic-girls-retired/
    24 September 2010
    According to a reliable source in Pyongyang, the famous traffic girls of North Korea’s capital city have for the most part lost their jobs. Instead, modern low voltage LED based traffic lights have been installed throughout town to control traffic.

    The girls were allegedly laid off earlier in the year, however some have been retained in case of long-term power shortages and some (perhaps now working as police due to the white uniform) are manually phasing lights in busy areas, such as near the Koryo hotel. See the following video for an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcPY0q9Ihbg
    Drivers of Pyongyang are currently learning about the new light sequencing system and as such according to our NKnews.org source, some delays were experienced driving through Pyongyang due to improper light phasing (i.e lights being stuck on red for long periods).

    The lights are functional throughout the day and until about 11pm each night. Street lights are also now illuminated on busy streets until around the same time.

Ray Cunningham aka zaruka was in North Korea last month, and saw this situation firsthand.
Here's what he told me -
"The damn traffic lights are on.
The women are sidelined to a great extent.
The umbrellas are still up and a few intersections are working as usual – very few.
We cannot conclude that the era is over – but they are working less. One reason has been heat. They are not on duty at the hottest part of the day but from what I saw they are not on duty in most every intersection but along the sides watching."

This from Rays Flickr page:
Sad Situation
An umbrella without a traffic girl is a very sad thing to see.

From Rays comments on Flickr:
"The traffic lights are on and the traffic girls are sidelined in many intersections. This is a sad state of affairs. They stand on the roadside while the traffic lights work. They are not giving directions. They may be doing other traffic duty but I watched one for about 20 minutes and she just paced watching. I certainly do not want this to be permanent."

kim jong-il
Well, we knew this day might come. But it's still to early to panic. Changes don't happen overnight, and there is still reason to believe that the traffic ladies will be around for a while.
For one thing, there are too many intersections for traffic lights to be installed in all at them at once. The busiest ones will get priority for the lights, and some intersections currently staffed by traffic women may not get lights at all.

And mostly, the DPRK regime knows that their traffic girls have become a popular icon of North Korea and an admired tourist attraction, something that they probably would be hesitant to do away with completely. They make souvenir trafficgirl dolls, for pete's sake.

So just as there are traffic women around the world currently staffing intersections in cities like Dalian China, Amman Jordan, Rome Italy , or New Delhi India, The Pyongyang Traffic Ladies will undoubtedly remain directing traffic in one way or another for the foreseeable future.

We hope.

Trafficgirl working


Last edited by Dear Leader on Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zaruka
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PostSubject: The end of the Traffic Girls   Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:50 pm

I knew when I was there something was up. I think the observation posted is as I observed but no official word has been received. They are on duty but on the road sides as you saw in many of my photos. I was alarmed but did not want to cause panic in the community. This observer is correct but they may be back on a limited basis.

The Koryo Hotel girl was eliminated as I observed in August but the ones at the Bookstore remain and I suspect that is the one they are going to preserve for the tourists. That is the one they want you to photograph and I believe they will keep this one for at least a while. I asked but did not get a clear answer.

Time to get all the souvenirs available. I guess I should have seen this coming. Lets not panic yet. I will gather more intelligence on the next visit.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:19 am

Thanks for your first hand observations. I still find it hard to believe that they would phase out their oh-so-very-popular traffic ladies. Like you say, they may keep some as tourist attractions, but that wouldn't seem the same as having them as a functioning pillar of Pyongyang's ...*ahem*...vibrancy.

This is all very sad. Just as NK seems to be opening up more to tourism, with cameras and video becoming more prolific, they retire the trafficgirls? sniff
Sad
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Zaruka
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:41 pm

"Opening" is a relative term and while indeed they are having more tourists it also depends on how many want to go. The majority of tourists are from China and you see them everywhere. It is cheap and they see what their society was once like. Still, few Americans go there and I still find the "you cannot go there" line is around. Europeans are attracted for a variety of reasons, some similarly want to see a socialist authoritarian state. I think if one millions people clamored to come in they would not accomodate them and just raise the price. I only see one new city on the list and I will be on the next group headed there. Again they do not want to show poverty but lets face it, you have to take the road to Wonsan and Nampo and what will you see but poverty? Of course if I take the bus from Beijing to anywhere I will see the "poor" China that the nation would rather the tourists not see.
I think they are indeed becoming used to cameras. It is not like it was in 2008.
We will see about the traffic girls. The umbrellas are still up so I am hopeful they at least keep three or four.


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Jong-Il's Hair Apparent
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:07 pm

The traffic girls are their cultural jewel, what are they thinking? This can't be real. Oh well, we could make this a NorthKoreanArmygirls.com website instead.

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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:29 am

Jong-Il's Hair Apparent wrote:
The traffic girls are their cultural jewel, what are they thinking? This can't be real. Oh well, we could make this a NorthKoreanArmygirls.com website instead.
Never. traffic girl mad
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:27 pm

Zaruka wrote:
"Opening" is a relative term and while indeed they are having more tourists it also depends on how many want to go. The majority of tourists are from China and you see them everywhere. It is cheap and they see what their society was once like. Still, few Americans go there and I still find the "you cannot go there" line is around.
When I first started this site it seemed like there were not that many PTG pictures to be found on the web - a few dozen maybe. Even now it's rare to find a pre-2005 or so picture. Lately you can find hundreds of newer PTG pics by googling around - that's why it appeared to me that they are being more open to tourists and cameras etc.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:34 am

Zaruka wrote:
"Opening" is a relative term and while indeed they are having more tourists it also depends on how many want to go. The majority of tourists are from China and you see them everywhere. It is cheap and they see what their society was once like. Still, few Americans go there and I still find the "you cannot go there" line is around. Europeans are attracted for a variety of reasons, some similarly want to see a socialist authoritarian state. I think if one millions people clamored to come in they would not accomodate them and just raise the price. I only see one new city on the list and I will be on the next group headed there. Again they do not want to show poverty but lets face it, you have to take the road to Wonsan and Nampo and what will you see but poverty? Of course if I take the bus from Beijing to anywhere I will see the "poor" China that the nation would rather the tourists not see.
I think they are indeed becoming used to cameras. It is not like it was in 2008.
We will see about the traffic girls. The umbrellas are still up so I am hopeful they at least keep three or four.



Sorry for the OT but are americans allowed to enter North Korea??
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:36 pm

Argo8 wrote:
Sorry for the OT but are americans allowed to enter North Korea??
Yes, it happens often. Koryo tours: http://www.koryogroup.com/
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:16 am

Yeah, I'd be be skeptical of this "exclusive" report. It's more than likely that this new NK News website is trying to create a buzz for itself, and the unnamed "source" a tourist that noticed a few intersections where the lights are working. Traffic girls retired? Ffftttt - That story about the Chinese leader meeting with the traffic girls proves they're too highly regarded to be retired.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:50 pm

JIMBIALEK wrote:
Yeah, I'd be be skeptical of this "exclusive" report. It's more than likely that this new NK News website is trying to create a buzz for itself, and the unnamed "source" a tourist that noticed a few intersections where the lights are working. Traffic girls retired? Ffftttt - That story about the Chinese leader meeting with the traffic girls proves they're too highly regarded to be retired.
I don't think they'll do away with them entirely, but it's disturbing that now intersections have traffic lights where the PTGs just stand on the sidewalk watching. We'll see .....
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PostSubject: It's true   Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:29 pm

The rumor is true. I toured the DPRK in mid October, and was disappointed that every intersection's circle was empty during my five day stay in Pyongyang. The traffic ladies are still employed and there was one at each major intersection, dressed in the oh so attractive uniform, but they just stand by the curb and monitor the traffic rather than direct it. In my stay there I only saw two cases where they weren't just standing on the curb, arms by their sides: In one case, the lady was manually operating the traffic lights from a roadside equipment box. In the other, she accompanied a particularly slow moving trolley to the middle of the intersection as it made a turn before returning to her curbside post. I did see umbrella podiums, but they were all off the intersections and placed on the adjacent sidewalks.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:10 pm

Sad
Another confirmation. This is all very sad - what are they thinking? The North Koreans are dismantling one of the major tourist attractions in their country! I'd bet that most people don't travel all the way to the DPRK just so they can stare at a bronze 100 foot tall Dear Leader statue.

What if other countries did this kind of thing? Can you imagine the Italians filling in the canals of Venice or building a domed stadium where the Roman Colosseum now stands? Would the Chinese ever replace the Great Wall of China with a chain link fence? The French sell the Eiffel tower for scrap metal? The answer is no.

Maybe when tourism drops off, Kim Jong-Il will put 2 & 2 together and see the flaws in this new traffic light policy.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:21 pm

Yeah it was a bummer. Here's an example from my pictures:

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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:06 pm

thebobo wrote:
Yeah it was a bummer. Here's an example from my pictures:

I feel sorry for her. She looks lost ... lonely... bored. Nothing to do. Sigh.

Thats a good picture. Looking at a larger size pic http://picasaweb.google.com/bobobobo/NorthKorea2010#5538399957292046402
she might be a candidate for a future Traffic Girl of the Month.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:03 am

If she needs something to do, she's welcome to come hang out at my place.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:46 am

JIMBIALEK wrote:
If she needs something to do, she's welcome to come hang out at my place.
She's lonely, not desperate. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:51 am

Dear Leader wrote:
JIMBIALEK wrote:
If she needs something to do, she's welcome to come hang out at my place.
She's lonely, not desperate. Laughing
She need her some Jimbo! Oh Yeah thumbup
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:34 am

JIMBIALEK wrote:
Dear Leader wrote:
JIMBIALEK wrote:
If she needs something to do, she's welcome to come hang out at my place.
She's lonely, not desperate. Laughing
She need her some Jimbo! Oh Yeah thumbup
Maybe you should go there and seek her out. wave
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:06 am

Dear Leader wrote:
JIMBIALEK wrote:
Dear Leader wrote:
JIMBIALEK wrote:
If she needs something to do, she's welcome to come hang out at my place.
She's lonely, not desperate. Laughing
She need her some Jimbo! Oh Yeah thumbup
Maybe you should go there and seek her out. wave
Nahh ... I like it here. But the invitation's still open.
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:13 pm

North Korea will not completely retire the traffic girls, they need them for propaganda purposes
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:09 am

I found this short recent video of a well-known Pyongyang intersection - with no traffic girl on the podium. You can see her in the background left of the intersection, standing on the curb with nothing to do. Sad
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57867676@N03/5325700804/


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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Worrying stuff, who knows what next summer will bring for the TG's...
Kind of a shame that there aren't restrictions against the DPRK buying Traffic Lights Smile

Tom
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:21 pm


Sad More pictures of the sidelined PTGs -



"There are more and more traffic lights in North Korea, so the 'traffic girls' are only
checking the situation on the crossroads." - from smee007 on Flickr



"Sadly I did not get to see the famous Pyongyang traffic ladies in action.
Thanks to the working stop lights they were designated to the curb." - from grizzlyuknown on Flickr







- from Esterfb on Flickr
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PostSubject: Re: OH NO! PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES BEING RETIRED ??   Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:32 pm

Sad

Makes you wonder why they bothered with all of the umbrella's last year, really...

I have a feeling they'll be back this year though, their power situation isn't looking too perky at the moment it would seem... Plus they know they're needed for tourist purposes, now Very Happy

Tom
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