Dedicated to the world-renowned trafficwomen of the DPRK
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Dear Leader
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Various Traffic Women quotes and excerpts

  1. The China Car Times
    The Traffic Girls of Pyongyang
    Published by Ash February 16th, 2008 in North Korea.
    We like Chinese cars, but sometimes we have to have a nosey glare into the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea - thats North Korea to you. It seems the North Koreans dont do ‘traffic lights’ like the rest of the world, and seem to enjoy the employment of well dressed young girls in crisp uniforms to guide traffic in place of said traffic lights. You can see a video of them on the Gadling site

    The ‘traffic lights’ uniform is actually pretty similar to the one worn by Chinese train conductors on the old style of trains (not the new bullet trains). Its a shame that China doesn’t have pretty police girls out giving instructions, instead we have male policemen that like to curse and abuse those who do not follow their commands.]source

  2. The Washington Post
    What the capital does have -- at least when the New York Philharmonic is in town -- is female traffic cops. They were all gorgeous -- and they were all gorgeous in exactly the same way.
    They wore powder-blue uniforms with fur-lined hats. With bright red lipstick and dramatic eyebrows, they looked as if they had been made up for the stage. They directed the city's sparse traffic with robotic arm movements. They looked fit and happy and often smiled at the traffic.
    "They are the faces of the road, and they are chosen for their beauty and their height," a minder explained. "They cheer us up and clarify our minds."

  3. BBC News
    Human traffic lights
    Pyongyang's streets are broad and empty, its lawns and bushes manicured, the pavements spotless. Little Korean women in turquoise uniforms pirouette like manic clockwork dolls in the middle of road junctions, their lips painted and arms popping in and out, directing traffic that so rarely comes their way. Human traffic lights.

  4. Worldhum
    Writes Woodburn: “Dolled up in crisp, blue and white uniforms that are rumored to have been designed by Kim Jung Il himself, the immaculately coifed women work the middle of intersections throughout Pyongyang. Every Traffic Girl is beautiful, young, shapely, and sexy in a uniform-wearing sort of way….Armed with just a whistle and baton, the girls are a one-person show beautifully orchestrating the flow of traffic with patented, choreographed moves that are crisp, robotic, and out of this world.”

  5. Blogspot - Ari On The Web
    Thankfully there are some cars on the road, since it justifies the existence of the PyongyangRoboTrafficCopWomen (PRTCW, which they will now be known as in the absense of anything catchier). These women are dressed in a sobering police uniform and wear heavy white make up. PRTCW stand in a small painted circle in the middle of an intersection, and direct traffic with complete and utter humourlessness, robotically moving their arms and rotating their bodies to guide the occassional vehicle through the intersection. The PRTCW seem to be universally respected by motorists and pedestrians alike, and are some of the few women in NK with any sort of power or authority. Sadly, the days of the PRTCW may be numbered, with traffic lights already installed at some inner-city intersections, although none of the traffic lights were yet functioning. Thankfully

  6. A Year In Pyongyang
    A particular source of fascination and Pyongyang's number one tourist attraction was the traffic conductresses in their gorgeous kingfisher blue uniforms (except in summer, when they exchange their blue tunics for white). There are traffic conductors as well, but they are far outnumbered by the female of the species and are far less interesting. These invariably stunninglooking girls stand in the middle of the road at every major junction and imperiously direct the traffic rotating with stylised movements like welldrilled guardsmen and pointing with their red and white striped batons, like miniature barber's poles, that turn luminous at night. It may be that this occupation carries high prestige. It is fairly obvious that they are selected partly for their good looks and physical grace. For whatever reason, these young women seemed to have taken the great leader's dictum about adopting the attitude of masters of society more to heart than any other distinguishable group of workers. Even away from their posts, they strode the pavements of Pyongyang with all the poise and assurances of millionairesses in Knightsbridge.* (*It will be a sad day when traffic lights become the norm in Pyongyang. Already they have some in place, but as yet they cannot afford the electricity to run them.)

  7. Virtural Tourist
    Some junctions (intersections)in Pyongyang do have traffic lights but these didn't seem to be working when I was there. Instead, Pyongyang is full of rather attractive, young traffic ladies dressed in a blue skirt with a white uniform jacket and hat. They hold out a red and white baton that glows at night and stand in a circle in the middle of the junction. They wave the baton in the direct that the traffic wants to go in. They do almost robotic like movements with their heads to look at what traffic is approaching from each direction and then swivel themselves around to face the oncoming traffic. An Icelandic guy on my tour got quite carried away by taking pictures of them from our bus and we pointed them out to him as we passed.

  8. Time
    And every kilometer or so, there stood in the middle of the road a female traffic cop. Each wore an aqua-blue uniform and a fur-lined hat, stood ramrod straight and wielded a baton to point the way to drivers; all of them seemed tall, young and attractive — "a James Bond fantasy come to life," cracked one colleague on our bus. Whoever they were, they had one of the world's easiest jobs, because there was no traffic to direct.,9171,1717910,00.html

  9. The Scotsman
    The traffic that skims through nearby Kim Il-Sung Square, past the enormous portraits of Marx and Lenin, comprises mainly government-issue cars, trolleybuses and bicycles. At every major crossroads, a young woman in pristine white uniform - always pretty, always stern - directs the traffic with a series of robotic arm movements. Without exception, the cars are clean: in fact, any driver returning to Pyongyang from outside the city limits must dust his vehicle down or risk punishment.

  10. The Huffington Post
    There are very few traffic lights at intersections to regulate the few cars on the road. There are, however, a multitude of attractive female traffic directors who stand in a small circle at key intersections to do manage the traffic flow. And they do it with precision arm movements that are a delight to watch.

  11. An American Tourist in North Korea, 2007
    Contrary to what I'd read about a bicycling ban in Pyongyang, I see many cyclists, including one being given a ticket from a female traffic cop on a motor scooter. While there isn't exactly a crush of traffic during the day, on some streets at least there are enough cars to occupy the female traffic cops stationed at intersections. We're told they work in two hour shifts during the day, and then at night the traffic lights take over.

  12. KFA Forum
    A friend of mine told me that on one occasion when he was in Pyongyang filming a documentary on the DPRK he actually managed to get for himself a big smile from a traffic police girl who was on duty directing traffic at a busy intersection. I don't know how he managed to do this but he considered it quite an achievement as those young ladies are somewhat austere. I suggested that he should tuck that smile into his memory and he told me that he already done just that.

  13. Virtural Tourist
    There are no traffic lights in North Korea, which makes sence because there is hardly any traffic and power cuts are frequent. But the most busy street corners in Pyong Yang have female traffic police to direct the few cars and buses. Their movement pattern were that of uniformed robots on a military parade but I must say that they were all very pretty, without doubt selected on their looks. One of them even gave me a smile.
    Of course we had to ask our Korean guides if we were allowed to take photographs.

  14. Lonely Planet
    Traffic has been increasing on the once-empty streets of this extraordinary capital. That said, little else has changed in Pyongyang (‘flat land’) over the last couple of decades. The city remains an eerie, unchanging place of wide streets, endless grey and white Soviet-style blocks, vast monuments to the party and an all-female team of fetishistically-clad traffic wardens manually directing traffic with domineering zeal.

  15. The Daily NK
    As our bus passed through an intersection, a pretty woman traffic police officer suddenly came up gallantly. The guide said every main road has a traffic agent who directs traffic. Traffic police job is a good job which is stable and highly paid. Woman traffic police officers should be tall, pretty and single. So the competition rate is so high.

  16. Timesonline
    The culture of conformity is meant to ensure the regime’s survival. The only permitted exception is Pyongyang’s female traffic police. Stern-looking women in short blue skirts, swinging white batons and blowing whistles, they direct cars. Their schoolmistress sex appeal is probably lost on a people bullied for decades.

  17. virtural tourist
    Particularly in the city center of P'yongyang you will pass Police Women in the intersections directing traffic. In the outer cities, the traffic control becomes a bit more equal between men and women. But P'yongyang has the vast majority being women.

    As with most of the country, electricity is a premium. Street lights and traffic signals are no exception. That and the fact that posting someone in each intersection is a way to keep everyone employed adds to the unique sight of Police Women in their circle.

    These traffic officers stand on the little metallic square, in the center of white painted circle, which is likewise in the center of the intersection. If there is any traffic, they must yield to their instructions or be served a violation.

    The women's movements are rigid, sharp, exact... military. They stand, rotate about-face, snap their arms and their baton in militaristic marching fashion. It is a constant ballet for their entire working shift, regardless of the number of vehicles that pass.

  18. Goodmagazine
    Traffic Lights

    Despite having only about 300,000 cars, North Korea takes traffic control seriously. It is unique in having four-color traffic lights (the fourth-—for turning right—is blue) and in Pyongyang, a corps of female traffic directors—reportedly hand-picked by Kim Jong Il for their beauty—step in during the power outages.

  19. KFA forum
    "Changing Shift:
    PTG (Pyongyang Traffic Girl) shift change over is a riveting event mainly for the clockwork precision with which it is carried out.
    It commences with the relieving PTG briskly marching with arms swinging DPRK military style directly towards her colleague who waits within the white positioning circle. A face to face collision is avoided at the very last second because as the relieving PTG steps into the circle the other girl takes one smartly executed step to the left. Both girls now stand side by side within the circle but facing in opposite directions. They are at rigid attention with the girl to be relieved holding the red and white striped wand vertically downwards in her right hand. Her colleague closes her right hand fingers around the wand and takes possession of it. Immediately this happens the relieved girl steps smartly out of the circle and marches military style across the road to the safety of the sidewalk. The new girl does two separate 180 degree turns to assess the traffic and then raises the wand full stretch above her head to signify she is now in command. It's a scintillating sparkling performance.

  20. Corbis
    North Korea - Traffic Policewoman  

    A traffic policewoman controls traffic as she stands in the middle of a white circle on a street in the capital of Pyongyang. In place of traffic lights, people regulate traffic in the Korean capital, with an overall of 6 shifts a day changing every two hours.

Last edited by Dear Leader on Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:18 am; edited 5 times in total
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They're becoming very popular, it seems.
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Jong-Il's Hair Apparent
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LOL - "They are the faces of the road, and they are chosen for their beauty and their height," a minder explained. "They cheer us up and clarify our minds."

my mind is clarified Very Happy
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A few more excerpts  

  1. blogspot - mkohlmeier
    When I noticed the coast was completely clear, not a single car in sight, I ventured out into the street to take a photo. The traffic control woman immediately noticed me and blew her whistle, gesturing for me to get back. When we made eye contact a moment later, as a good will gesture, I gave her a "Hi. How are you?" kind of wave, but she didn't return it. Sad
    There seemed to be a small circle painted in the middle of every intersection. This is where the traffic control women stand during the "busy" times of the day, orchestrating traffic in strict robotic movements. At the slow times (and I really mean slow) they stand off to the side of the street, blowing their whistles at the occasional American that steps out. They're all very lovely, with their faces painted almost white. I did not see a single working traffic signal in North Korea.

  2. blogspot - yisunshin
    Back outside, we beg and plead until the guide acquiesces – he lets us run down to the end of the block to shoot pictures of the traffic lady! Suddenly a dozen westerners start running full speed down the sidewalk, cameras swinging around our necks. The North Korean pedestrians look shocked and confused as we run by. What thoughts go through their heads?!
    And we start shooting picture after picture of the blue-skirted traffic lady, pirouetting robotically in the middle of the road, waving her baton at the few passing cars. The rhythmic motions, crisp in the starched blue uniform, hold our attention.

    A brief addendum – always have at least two cameras, extra film, and extra batteries. I lost a section of the trip at one point when my digital ran out of batteries.... I lost another part when the photo lab lost a roll of film from the manual camera.... both led to missed moments, memories and opportunities. All my close-ups of the traffic lady disappeared into the photo-processing black hole...

  3. The Daily Nightly
    The traffic lights do not work as a result and every intersection is controlled by a woman traffic controller. As a side note we actually got one of them to smile.  I can't say which intersection it was as she'll probably wind up in a re-education camp.

    In Pyongyang, 20-something traffic girls direct the non-existent traffic, robot-like in their white uniforms, black hair pulled back in identical World War II-style chignons. They remind me of little Russian girls in their starched school uniforms, organdy bows in their hair.

  5. Flickr
    Here's an interesting fact about Pyongyang. They don't have traffic lights! That's why they still use people to direct the traffic. In the past guys were deployed, but they later found out that motorists don't give a damn about the policemen. Some bright spark proposed using young, pretty girls instead. According to our guide, traffic policewomen in Pyongyang are highly sought after by the eligible North Korean chaps.
    There is a blue tint to this photo because I took it through the tinted glass window of my tour bus.

  6. lastknownlocation.blogspot
     The big draw for us was to be found outside the bookshop at a road intersection. Where most cities use traffic lights and roundabouts at their main junction, the DPRK's cities have traffic police officers. (They have traffic lights, but they are permanently switched off.) In central Pyongyang these officers are all young and female. They wear an immaculate blue uniform, a knee length skirt, white ankle socks and shiny black shoes. They direct the traffic with precise, robotic movements, and having watched them many times we still have no idea what their signs mean and how they actually control the traffic. See the video we took below, which actually contains a lot of traffic (for Pyongyang).  VIDEO

  7. CBS 60 Minutes
        The first thing that caught our attention in the capital, Pyongyang, was the traffic police. Well dressed and impeccably groomed, they display almost no emotion as they pirouette in a city that's so poor and so short on electricity there aren't any traffic lights most of the year. The police are in perpetual motion, working with an almost robotic precision. All of which is rather odd because there isn't much traffic. People can't afford cars. VIDEO

  8.  An American Tourist in North Korea, 2007
    Contrary to what I'd read about a bicycling ban in Pyongyang, I see many cyclists, including one being given a ticket from a female traffic cop on a motor scooter. While there isn't exactly a crush of traffic during the day, on some streets at least there are enough cars to occupy the female traffic cops stationed at intersections. We're told they work in two hour shifts during the day, and then at night the traffic lights take over.

  9. Huffington Post
    I asked if it was true that Kim Jong-il had designed the uniforms for the "traffic girls" who direct Pyongyang's sparse traffic. Our guide replied, "Of course!", as if I had just asked the dumbest question in the world.

    North Korea's "traffic girls" are one of the country's most frequently remarked-upon features. Nearly all visitors to Pyongyang note that the capital is dotted with young, stern-faced policewomen who direct traffic with precise, Robocop-like movements. One businessman in the country told GlobalPost that their faces are so serious-looking that they're simply terrifying

Trafficgirl spinning
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More ...................

  1. From the book A Complete Idiot's Guide To Understanding North Korea
    A few women are permitted to wear uniforms. Those who do generally are in Pyongyang and young and attractive. They are police who project gentleness in their impeccably tailored, pastel blue uniforms. They direct traffic in Pyongyang's busiest intersections and maintain order at subway stations and in the airport. Macho males tremble before their glare. They know that these policewomen can send them to jail for disobedience and disrespect.
    [Personal Recollections --- Occasionally North Korean drivers get confused while chaffeuring foreign visitors. They might think they can get away with an illegal U-turn. Not true. Three times an attractive but stern-faced young policewoman stopped my car. Each time the "guide" allowed her to complete her blistering lecture to the driver. Then she whispered to the driver that some money for makeup might resolve the matter. It did, and we promptly sped from the scene.]

  2. blogspot - digitalmerveilleuse
    Pyongyang Traffic Girls are (perhaps with the exception of the mao suit) the chi-chiest of all fashion influences originating from dour totalitarian communist nations.  These hot uniformed patriotic creatures stand in their impossibly cute outfits (who doesn't love white ankle socks and little brown heeled oxfords) at intersections performing impossibly robotic movements (as only crazy goose stepping bankrupt communist nations with brilliant athletic teams and starving populaces devise) directing non-existent traffic on pyongyang's mean streets.

    "My Dear Pyongyang Traffic Lady: Each time I passed you, I admired how you labored with your perfectly-choreographed movements to ensure that that we all -- whether we be your fellow heroic socialist worker, your own Dear Leader, or an anti-socialist militarist such as myself -- could proceed unimpeded toward Kim Il Sung Square in order to gaze upon the greatness of the Juche Idea. On my penultimate day in the Workers' Paradise, I stood there on your corner for many minutes thinking that, perchance, you would return my gaze. Each time you performed your traffic pirouette in your perfectly-exact knee-length blue skirt, cocked your head, and spun in my direction; I hoped that our eyes would meet. Sadly, they never did. Alas, I shall never know your name."

    True, the chances of any visiting male making any form of amorous contact with local members of the opposite love in Pyongyang is a big, fat zero. But for voyeurs of women in uniform, welcome to paradise. The city is a showcase, and rumour has it that only the prettiest women are chosen to don uniforms. On your arrival at the airport your pbuttport is inspected by a beautiful immigration officer. Stunning female soldiers in Soviet-style uniforms are common at museums and monuments. And on public intersections, beautiful traffic wardens pirouette and twirl batons as they direct (largely non-existent) traffic. Many South Koreans - at least, South Korean males - say North Korean women are more pure looking and beautiful than their South Korean sisters. Only after you have visited both will you be able to judge.

    Instead of streetlights, the intersections were presided over by traffic women, and I murmured in appreciation as we passed the first one. She stood in a white painted circle in the middle of the street, with a baton in one hand and a whistle in her mouth. She wore a matching blue jacket, necktie, and skirt, white socks, and white gloves. Her bare, muscular calves flexed nicely as she pivoted in her sturdy, high-heeled shoes.

    “No wonder the Dear Leader wants to keep foreigners out of your country!” I said to Shorty, who sat in front of us next to a handler with a wide gap between his front teeth. Neither of them smiled.


    At junctions without traffic lights, and there are quite a few in a city with hardly enough electricity to go around, there are female traffic police officers conducting traffic. One of our minders joked that these ladies are picked for their attractiveness and dedication to the job. Judging from the officers’ rosily made up faces, it seems that there is a seed of truth in his jest.

    The DPRK is a different world, the people are very nice but zombie-like and the city is eerily clean with no traffic, yet they have a dedicated traffic lady who may be the most famous women in North Korea and certainly entertaining and the extent is impossible to convey through pictures but trust me it was hilarious-even the guides made jokes about the traffic ladies

  8. blogspot melkimx

    here's the exhibition poster image, which is of a cute bug-person. it's also north korean propaganda. people in south korea are probably going, those damn commie the way, i have a link that roger ebert tweeted out several times because people liked it so much. it's the pyongyang traffic girls. i find it mildly interesting, because there never seems to be a car on the road when these pictures and videos are taken, much less many cars to necessitate the presence of a traffic girl. (wayne's world!) you know, on second thought... i think that commie bug-person is actually supposed to be a pyongyang traffic girl! she's got those trademark white gloves and awkwardly angular arm gestures. ("finally! there's a car coming up! i will tilt my arms just so, and this will indicate to the driver that he should stay on the road, even though there are no other drivers and no other roads!")

    i feel fairly certain that, had my grandparents not escaped the north during the korean war, i would now be a pyongyang traffic girl. i imagine that i would be bored out of my mind standing in the middle of the road for hours on end, waiting for a car to arrive, so my specialty would eventually be to utilize my special arm gestures to direct drivers into barren cornfields or maybe even into the dear leader's headquarters, because this would be vastly more entertaining than just watching cars pass me by. then i would probably be sent to a prison camp for "reeducation".

  9. nomadicsojournsblog
    Lady of the Light
    She stands in the middle of the road, traffic coming at her from all sides.
    Her arms move in a robotic fashion: fast, efficient, authoritative.  Cars, vans, army-issued jeeps, buses strewn with stars, dilapidated trams all come to a stop at the crossroad, awaiting her direction.  A gloved-hand firmly holds traffic to her left to attention.  The right hand, clasping a baton, stretches out, directing oncoming traffic to move forward – or pointedly to her right.  Her head turns sharply to the right, then the left, then to the right again.  She returns her stare at the oncoming traffic.  Her face remains rigid and stern, dispassionate, expressionless.  In a sudden move, she swivels herself to the left, her heels clicking together into their new position.  Her left hand stretches out, palm up: traffic stops.  The baton moves to the right: traffic follows suit.

    She’s the traffic lady of Pyongyang.  In a country where electricity is a luxury, traffic lights hang disconsolately above a few roads in the country’s capital, disused, disconnected, forgotten.  Only once in two-and-a-half years did I witness the few existing traffic lights turned on, when a rare visit was paid by the South Korean President.  As a show of prosperity, it was a night when lights shone on bridges, and the common flicker of candlelight in people’s apartments was replaced with electric luminance.

    On a normal day, the traffic lady replaces electrical lights with the efficient wave of her baton.  Behind that fixed stare, that glare, who is there?
    April 30, 2012

    Because of the electricity shortage they had no trafficlights in the cities, not even in Pyongyang, - and to control the traffic they had "traffic ladies" - girls/young women in a tight and really nice dark blue uniform, all looking the same, - with the same curly black hair in a ponytail under the hat, - and they were controling the traffic with firm, fast and efficcient movements... really an impressive sight... all in the group were really impressed and appreiciating the sight of these traffic-ladies ... espesially the men, maybe... ;-)
    Oct 18 2006

  11. asiancorrespondent
    But nothing outdoes the sight of the capital’s traffic police. Standing on pedestals at the crossings, they (all females) maintain a frenetic body movement with their head and arms, signaling the traffic, even when the streets are deserted – and they are always deserted. The explanation given by the guide is the following: since for a long time the United States prevented North Korea from developing its nuclear energy program, the country now lacks electricity. Then, the traffic police act like human signs, since using electronic versions would be a waste. And why do they have to do that even when there is not a single car on the streets? The guide didn’t know. It is said that in North Korea the Dear Leader himself (also known as “Intelligent Leader” or “Respected Leader”) is the one who chooses the beautiful officers – dissimulated sexual symbols and heroines of many movies produced over there (“The Traffic Sentinel”, for instance, talks about “dedication to work and the tender love of the guards for the people and also about the true supremacy of socialism in our country”, says the text that summarizes the story).

    I am an American and a very experienced traveler – USSR four times, Mongolia, China (25 years ago) along with every country under communism in Eastern Europe. This is unlike the other communist societies. While it is one of the poorest places on earth, I found people to be honest, sincere and funny. While the minders were strict in the first few hours, we got them drunk and they began to trust us. By the end of the week we were cruising around hollering at the traffic girls and having a rip roaring time. They took us where we wanted to go. That is not what I thought would happen.

  13. travelblog
    Into this odd mix was thrown the traffic controllers - young, beautiful women with well-defined calf muscles, and adorned in smart white and aqua uniforms. If only all traffic controllers in the world looked so good, and seeing them always added a little excitement to each day. They would twist and spin with great alacrity on covered podiums in the middle of each intersection. These controllers were used instead of traffic lights, and when I suggested that there were no such lights in Pyongyang, the Guide pointed to one as we drove by - but it was not working.

  14. cjonline
    Although there are few in sight, pedestrians assiduously obey the traffic signals at the crosswalks, even when there are no cars in sight. And with such little traffic the traffic lights are turned off, so for "traffic control" at major intersections there are young ladies in dazzling uniforms directing the traffic with military-style pirouettes. These traffic mavens seemed to love their job, and many smiled back upon receiving waves from the five Americans in the tour bus.

  15. virtualtourist

    In Pyongyang, unlike the rest of the country, the traffic police are young ladies. They spin and twirl and jerk their arms as they direct the traffic – even when there is no traffic. At night they wear high-vis jackets adorned with flashing lights. Old Cliffie couldn't help but think of Robert Redford in "The electric cowboy". Local people claim that only the most attractive girls are selected to be traffic ladies. They say that a driver often commits some minor violation so that she will blow her whistle and stop the car – and then he asks her for a date. Well, he's not going to meet her in Starbucks, is he?

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