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 ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES

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PostSubject: ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2011 7:01 pm



What It Takes to Be a Traffic Policewoman in Pyongyang

    To become a traffic policewoman in Pyongyang, candidates need to be single, between 16 and 26, pretty, at least 165 cm tall, and have at least high school diploma, Chinese media reported Saturday.

    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  2011092700933_0
    A North Korean policewoman stands in a thoroughfare in Pyongyang.

    One Chinese paper claimed Pyongyang’s beautiful female traffic police are “known globally” for their efficient smoothing of the traffic flow on major roads in Pyongyang. They are dressed in a blue uniform and hat to be easily noticeable. In winter they wear fur collars and in summer a white shirt.

    Traffic police wave white batons at night because a shortage of electricity forces the country to turn off the street lights at night.

    There are some 50 traffic watchtowers on major roads in Pyongyang for hand signaling, and about six female officers are assigned to each post. They work in shifts from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., or about three hours per shift.

    As part of their compensation, the North Korean regime gives them special treatment by letting them choose where they wish to work or pursue further studies after six to seven years of service.



from chosun.com Sep. 27, 2011
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/09/27/2011092701060.html


Last edited by Dear Leader on Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeSun Jun 30, 2013 2:11 am



Pyongyang - People's Life inside the Showcase City
Traffic Policewomen Relentlessly Pursue Bicycle Riders to Keep the Capital Tidy

Report by Gu Gwang-ho (Jun-Jul, 2011)

    In Pyongyang, attractive young policewomen wearing characteristic uniforms with peaked caps, white jackets, and royal blue skirts are a common sight in many traffic intersections. These officers, bearing whistles and batons, are known for dutifully directing passing vehicles with discipline and brisk efficiency. Any foreigner who visits North Korea is sure to see these classic icons in the capital city.

    However, there is more to the story. There are areas in Pyongyang where riding bicycles is forbidden. The purpose of these no-ride zones is to keep the cityscape clean, orderly, and aesthetically pleasing - indispensible elements for the showcase capital.

    Yet, for ordinary citizens, the bicycle serves as a vital means for daily transportation.
    As a result, precarious games of cat-and-mouse between the traffic police and citizens regularly ensue in these areas. Our North Korean undercover reporter Gu Gwang-ho has captured images of these incidents with his hidden camera on a typical day in the Taedonggang District of Pyongyang.

    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Rimjingang_06_photo_29_400
    These three men were stopped at an intersection and reprimanded for riding their bicycles in an illicit manner). Usually, when detaining a citizen, the officer starts by confiscating his or her identification card. This move prevents resistance and ensures obedience most of the time. Citizens typically resort to the fastest and easiest way of resolving the problem: bribery. The “price” was around 500 won (12 U.S. cents) at the time this photo was taken. [Gu Gwang-ho, 2011]
     
    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Rimjingang_06_photo_30_400
    A policewoman issues a man a traffic ticket. Many citizens who do not want to pay for a ticket try to bribe the officers for a lesser amount of money. Working as a traffic officer is known to be lucrative, and for this reason policewomen must secure their positions through connections to ranked officials.[Gu Gwang-ho, 2011]

    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Rimjingang_06_photo_31_400           
    A middle-aged man in a white t-shirt is stopped by a traffic safety officer. Although it is not obvious, he is a member of the military. Military personnel are prohibited from riding bicycles and wearing civilian clothing in Pyongyang. The policewoman’s armband reads “Traffic Safety Officer.” [Gu Gwang-ho, 2011]

source: http://www.asiapress.org/rimjingang/english/report/2013-06-28/
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PostSubject: Pyongyang’s Female Traffic Police 北 여성 교통 경찰, 163cm 이상 ‘꽃미녀’만 뽑아…(도로주행)   ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 11, 2013 12:02 am

Pyongyang’s Female Traffic Police
Monday, 11.02.2013

ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Korea1-250x150
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may have a few things to be proud of, its female traffic police officers as fashion icons in the country are one of them.

Chang-jeon Outpost in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK is staffed by six female traffic police officers. Their captain Roh Young-mi is 25 years old and has served there for eight years. She was just promoted to outpost chief last year.

With the Okryu Bridge in the east, the Mansudae Congress Hall in the west, the bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il in the north and the Kim Il-sung Square in the south, the outpost, in downtown Pyongyang, commands vital traffic routes.

Pyongyang female traffic police officers must be taller than 163 centimeters, in good shape and appearance. They are smart, healthy, excellent both in conducting and learning, and gifted in many ways. Every year about 30 girls graduated from high school and aged above 16 are selected to be traffic police. In 2004, Roh became a traffic policeofficer at 16.

“On the day I was enlisted, I came home with a pack of police uniforms in my arms, and this made my parents cry; that was true, they burst into tears. They could hardly afford me a whole outfit from head to toe, but we had the uniforms for each season,” said Roh.

Before 2010, there were a few traffic lights in Pyongyang, and traffic was controlled by female traffic police officers. For safety purposes, pedestrians were required to cross the streets through underground passages.

“Everyone abides by the traffic rules. For those few who violate the rules, we will educate them. In this way, everyone will obey the traffic rules. It’s a serious matter,” said Roh.

Now, traffic lights are installed at many junctions in Pyongyang. Two years ago, the junction Roh serves at also installed traffic lights. Now the main task for female traffic police officers is to maintain order at junctions and roadsides. But when a blackout or a traffic light failure happens, Roh has to control traffic.

“Our leader once taught us that a traffic police officer must be swifter than others because this post is very important. Frankly, traffic police often get suntanned in summer and get their hands and feet frostbitten in winter,” said Roh.

Some joke that it is the beauty of the female traffic police officers that makes the drivers slow down and even halt their vehicles for a look, thus reducing road accidents.

“Men drivers will look at us when they pass the junction. They say that we are beautiful, and we will feel happy,” said Roh.

Pyongyang female traffic police officers have to leave their posts when they get married. Even if they remain single, they will not be allowed to work after 26. For Roh, she is able to work for only two more years.

Roh said that she hates to take off her uniform; and even though she will one day no longer work as a traffic police officer, she hopes that she can still remain in the police force.

With more traffic lights installed in Pyongyang, half of the over 300 female traffic police officers have stepped down from their posts. After their service terms are completed, they can further their studies or get other jobs.

(REUTERS)

source http://levant.tv/pyongyangs-female-traffic-police/
also  http://blog.daum.net/gpdrivingschool/8619260

北 여성 교통 경찰, 163cm 이상 ‘꽃미녀’만 뽑아…(도로주행)

북한은 몇 가지 자랑거리를 가지고 있을 수도 있다. 그 중 하나가 패션 아이콘으로서 여성 교통경찰이다.

북한의 수도 평양 창전지구를 담당하는 여성 교통경찰은 6명. 조장인 노영미 씨(25)는 8년째 이 일을 하고 있다. 그는 지난 해 조장으로 승진했다.

동쪽에 옥류교, 서쪽에 만수대 의사당, 북쪽에 김일성 김정일 부자 동상, 남쪽에 김일성 광장이 자리한 평양 중심지 창전지구는 가장 중요한 교통로이다.

평양의 여성 교통경찰은 키 163cm 이상에 몸매와 외모가 뛰어나야 한다. 이들은 똑똑하고 건강하며 우수한 지휘능력과 학식 그리고 여러 방면에서 능력을 갖춰야 한다. 매년 고교를 졸업한 16세 이상 여성 가운데 약 30명을 교통경찰로 선발한다. 노영미 씨는 16세이던 2004년 선발됐다.

"군복(경찰복)을 한 아름 안고 (집에) 들어갔더니 부모님이 울었습니다. 정말 울었습니다.친부모도 머리부터 발끝까지 옷을 사철 못 해주지만 우린 철마다 새옷이 나옵니다."노 씨가 말했다.

2010년 전에는 평양에 교통신호등이 많지 않아 여성 교통경찰이 차량흐름을 통제했다. 안전을 위해 보행자들은 지하도로 길을 건너야 했다.

"누구나 다 교통법규를 지킵니다. 위반자가 없습니다. 설사 위반을 했다고 하더라도 고쳐야 한다고 알려주면 누구나 다 지켜줍니다." 노 씨의 설명이다.

이제 평양의 많은 교차로에 교통신호등이 설치됐다. 2년 전, 노 씨의 근무지에도 신호등이 생겼다. 현재 여성 교통경찰의 주된 임무는 교차로와 길가의 질서 유지이다. 하지만 정전이나 신호등이 고장이 났을 때 차량흐름을 통제한다.

"교통경찰은 그 누구보다 신속해야 한다고 배웠습니다. 이곳은 매우 중요한 곳이기 때문이지요. 솔직히 말해 교통경찰은 여름에 햇볕에 그을리고 겨울에 손과 발에 동상에 걸리는 일이 종종 있습니다."

일부 운전자들은 여성 교통 경찰관들에게 예쁘다고 말을 건네기 위해 차량 속도를 늦추거나 아예 차를 세우고 쳐다본다. 그 덕에 도로 교통 사고는 줄어든다.

"남성 운전자들은 교차로를 지날 때 우리를 봅니다. 우리에게 멋있다고 합니다. 기분좋습니다." 노 씨가 웃으며 말했다.

평양의 여성 교통 경찰은 결혼하게 되면 근무지를 떠나야 한다. 설령 결혼하지 않더라도 26세 이후에는 이곳에서 근무가 허락되지 않는다. 노 씨도 이제 2년 정도 남았다.

노 씨는 유니폼을 벗기 싫다고 말한다. 비록 더는 교통경찰 업무를 볼 수 없게 될 날이 오더라도 계속 경찰에 남고 싶어한다.

평양에 더 많은 교통신호등이 설치되는 가운데 여성 교통경찰 300여 명 중 절반이 근무지를 떠났다. 여성 교통경찰은 정해진 근무기간을 채운 후 공부를 더 하거나 다른 직업을 구할 수 있다.
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PostSubject: Video: Traffic control in Pyongyang   ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 12, 2013 1:49 am



Video: Traffic control in Pyongyang
Feb 28th 2010

North Korea may be a totalitarian hellhole run by a lunatic with an affinity for women’s M.C. Hammer glasses, but we’ll at least give Dear Leader this: his army of traffic-control maidens is a sight to behold. Stationed at intersections throughout Pyongyang, the uniformed women of the city’s traffic police go about their mission with robotic precision. It comes off as a deadly serious affair – no smiling, no banter – as they point what little traffic there is in the direction it needs to go. And, really, it is serious business: After all, even though there may be traffic lights, there’s little electricity available to power them.

ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  162692311_bd47ef3356

As such, the burden of maintaining order on the roads falls on the shoulders of these often pretty, yet always stern-faced officials. As one oblivious Mini Cooper driver learns in one of the videos posted after the jump (how does one come to own a Mini in NoKo, anyway?), you can get the traffic girls to leave their posts, which are defined by circles drawn in the intersections, if you ignore their instructions. Only they won’t do so until after they complete a formal, choreographed changing of the guard ceremony.

Other observations: in the summer, the blue uniform tops appear to be exchanged for white ones, and the traffic-control stations (at least some of them) are augmented with shaded platforms that presumably make the job somewhat more bearable. It’s all bizarrely fascinating to watch, which you can do in several videos posted after the break.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qFtaZ6HI-Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbQ7QRndcA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YVIBawHaQY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDHhW5_RxKc

source http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/28/video-traffic-control-in-pyongyang/
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PostSubject: Re: ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeSun May 14, 2017 2:48 pm



漂亮的女交警是平壤的一道风景。
路上车不多,她们的存在更多是为了妆扮这座城市。政府每年从年满 16 岁的中学生中精挑细选 30 人左右,要求她们身高不低于1米 63,相貌端正,品学兼优,多才多艺……女交警一结婚就要离开岗位,即使是单身,也只能工作到 26 岁。每位女交警每天执勤两到三个小时,差不多 30 分钟换一班岗。
ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  33848257563_5e5f7b9d51_o
女交警一年四季有三套制服,夏天是白衣蓝裙,春秋是蓝衣蓝裙,冬装是蓝衣蓝裤,天冷的时候还配有皮帽皮靴。此外,国家还为女交警免费提供化妆品,从基础护理到彩妆,都是朝鲜最好的品牌“春香”牌。据说朝鲜已故最高领导人金正日对女交警们也很关心,曾亲自指示,在炎炎夏日给每位女交警配发墨镜,以保护她们的眼睛。

The scenery of the beautiful ladies of Pyongyang.
Not many cars on the road, their presence is more for dress up the city. Each year from 16 years old high school student in picky about 30 people or so, their height not less than 1.63-meter, looks good, excellent, versatile ... ... Ladies wedding was about to leave, even if it is single, can only work to the age of 26. Each woman traffic police on duty every day two or three hours, nearly 30 minutes for a gang

Female traffic police throughout the year there are three sets of uniforms, summer is white and blue skirts, spring and autumn are blue in blue dress, winter is blue blue pants, cold weather also has fur-lined boots. In addition, the State also offers cosmetics for ladies free, from primary care to makeup, is North Korea's best brand "spring fragrance". It is said that North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-Il, the late ladies ' are concerned, personally instructed, on a hot summer day to every female traffic police issued sunglasses to protect their eyes.

http://my.lotour.com/i/zuji/1142558
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PostSubject: Young Pioneer Tours May 1 2019   ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 24, 2020 12:22 am

From Young Pioneer Tours
https://www.youngpioneertours.com/north-korean-traffic-girls/


    May 1 2019
    North Korean Traffic Girls

    The North Korean traffic girls are instantly iconic and one of the most immediately recognisable sights of the DPRK. But what, exactly, is their story?

    Once upon a time, traffic lights were, much like the rest of the world, not a thing in North Korea. In this benighted time, it was necessary for some good old-fashioned human traffic control; this came in the form of traffic police. Traffic cops can still be found throughout North Korea, but whereas they tend to be more mature gentlemen in the rural areas, in Pyongyang they have wisely opted for traffic officers of a more comely persuasion. In the process, a Pyongyang legend was born.

    But progress marches on, and in the past few years North Korea’s traffic has increased significantly, resulting in the need for the newfangled automated control system we in the West call ‘traffic lights’. At this point many pondered what such a techno-dystopian future might hold for the beloved Pyongyang traffic girls (and also the elderly gentlemen of the likes of Chongjin). Thankfully North Korea is a socialist state, and socialism mandates jobs for everyone. Thus it is that North Korea traffic girls remain in business and we continue to have our iconic photo opportunities.

    Whilst there is no official Pyongyang Traffic Girl Tour (one wonders quite how it would be marketed without straying into lasciviousness), we do try to provide photo ops when in the capital. When we visit the excellent Korean Foreign Language Publishing House (the bookshop), there is usually a traffic girl directly in front of the building. If you’re really lucky, you might get to see the quasi-militaristic ‘changing of the guard’ when she finishes her shift. Those visiting Pyongyang in the winter need not fear – neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night (OK, so the last one maybe) stays these fearsome ladies from their appointed duties; they simply don fetching fur hats before continuing their traffic direction.

    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Pyongyang_traffic_girls_01


    Many a customer has inquired after buying a traffic girl costume, for reasons we discreetly did not delve into. Alas, traffic lights may now be a thing in North Korea, but cosplay has yet to reach their innocent shores.

    Check out Pyongyang Traffic Girls for yourself on one of our many tours!



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PostSubject: 男人為什麼在朝鮮平壤當不了交通警察? Why can't a man become a traffic policeman in Pyongyang, North Korea?    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeTue Mar 16, 2021 12:10 am


A 2016 article from Watch China, aka Vision Times, aka Kanzhongguo(Chinese: 看中國) aka secretchina.com.
It is a US-based newspaper independent of the Chinese government.

The article reports on the traffic ladies, but there are a couple mistakes:
1. The policy of using women as traffic police was not started by Kim Jong-Un.
2. It references this website, PyongyangTrafficGirls.com, but seem to imply it is a North Korea based website. Laughing

    Why can't a man become a traffic policeman in Pyongyang, North Korea? (Photos)


    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  P1316311a833762133-ss
    On November 26, 2016, a prominent North Korean female traffic police officer directed traffic on a road in the capital Pyongyang. (Image source: Getty Images)

    [Look at China on December 22, 2016] (Look at Chinese reporter Xu Jiadong’s compilation) According to the US "International Business Times", a recent report stated that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un chose to implement a strange policy to show his country’s face: hire Charming female traffic policeman.

    According to reports, these Pyongyang policewomen were personally selected by North Korean leaders and have a dedicated website "PyongyangTrafficGirls.com."

    A screenshot of the website of the Pyongyang policewoman "PyongyangTrafficGirls.com".
    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  P1316931a927842265-ss

    The Pyongyang policewoman website "PyongyangTrafficGirls.com" is a fan site that includes pictures and videos of these young girls, as well as a special "Pyongyang Traffic Girl of the Month" (Pyongyang Traffic Girl of the Month).

    The site also allows fans from all over the world to purchase customized calendars and allows users to rate traffic girls this month. However, according to reports, the work is highly respected in this East Asian country. Only the best girls will be hired.

    According to the website, Pyongyang female traffic police have different uniforms at different times of the year. Recently, they were photographed wearing military-style fur hats, boots and blue double-breasted coats. Eligible women must be unmarried, healthy, attractive, at least 5 feet 4 inches tall, and between the ages of 16 and 26 to be eligible for the job. They must also be high school graduates.

    The British "Daily Star" reported that there may be a reason behind Kim Jong-un's special treatment of traffic police. Three years ago, after a North Korean traffic policeman was awarded the Hero of the Republic (Hero of the Republic), a mysterious incident between the North Korean dictator and the traffic policeman was exposed. It is speculated that she may have saved Kim Jong-un's life in a car accident or an unsuccessful assassination attempt.

    However, North Korea’s official statement did not mention this.

    It is said that the most provocative and best-looking North Korean female traffic police can be seen in nearly 50 locations throughout the city, and they are responsible for supervising North Korean traffic safety.

SOURCE: https://m.secretchina.com/news/b5/2016/12/22/808099.html
==================================

Original Chinese text:
    男人為什麼在朝鮮平壤當不了交通警察?(組圖)
    2016-12-22 06:00桌面版 简体 1 大 中 小字
    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  P1316311a833762133-ss

    2016年11月26日,一名相貌出眾的朝鮮女性交通警官在首都平壤的一條路上指揮交通。(圖片來源:Getty Images)

    【看中國2016年12月22日訊】(看中國記者許家棟編譯)據美國《國際商業時報》報導,最近的報告稱,朝鮮的金正恩選擇實施了一個奇怪的政策來展現自己國家的面貌:僱用迷人的女性交通警察。

    據報導,這些平壤女警是由朝鮮領導人親自挑選的,並擁有了一個專門網站「PyongyangTrafficGirls.com」。

    ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  P1316931a927842265-ss
    平壤女警「PyongyangTrafficGirls.com」的網站截圖。

    這個平壤女警網站「PyongyangTrafficGirls.com」是一個粉絲網站,其中包括這些年輕女孩的圖片和視頻,以及一名特別的「本月平壤交通女孩」(Pyongyang Traffic Girl of the Month)。

    該網站也允許來自各地的粉絲購買定制的日曆,並允許用戶評價本月的交通女孩。然而據報導稱,該工作在這個東亞國家受到了高度尊重。只有最好的女孩才會被聘用。

    根據該網站,平壤女性交通警察在一年的不同時間有不同的制服,最近她們就被拍到戴著軍隊風格的毛皮帽子、穿著靴子與藍色雙排扣外套的形象。合格婦女必須是未婚健康、有吸引力、至少5英尺4英吋高、年齡在16歲和26歲之間才有資格獲得這份工作。她們也必須是高中畢業生。

    英國《每日星報》報導說,金正恩對交通警察的特殊對待背後可能有一個原因。三年前,一名朝鮮交通警察被授予共和國英雄獎(Hero of the Republic)之後,一個有關這個朝鮮獨裁者和這名交通警察之間的神秘事件被曝光。據推測,可能在一次車禍或不成功的暗殺企圖中,她救了金正恩的生命。

    但是,朝鮮官方聲明並沒有提到這一點。

    據說,最高挑和最好看的朝鮮女性交通警察可以在整個城市的近50個位置被看到,她們負責監督朝鮮的交通安全。
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PostSubject: Traffic Girls Have Best Job in Best Korea   ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeWed Mar 31, 2021 7:23 pm


Traffic Girls have one of the best jobs in the DPRK!
Here is a screenshot from the kickresume blog:

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Source: https://blog.kickresume.com/2018/01/09/jobs-in-north-korea
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PostSubject: From NK News - traffic police   ARCHIVE of WEB STORIES/FEATURES about the PYONGYANG TRAFFIC LADIES  Icon_minitimeFri Sep 03, 2021 2:11 am

Article about the traffic police in North Korea.
From NK News:
https://www.nknews.org/2017/01/ask-a-north-korean-how-do-north-koreas-traffic-laws-work/?t=1637595618529

    Ask a North Korean: How do North Korea’s traffic laws work?
    "In most regions outside of Pyongyang, there isn’t much traffic at all and traffic lights are rare"

    Je Son Lee January 9, 2017

    Every week, we ask a North Korean your questions, giving you the chance to learn more about the country we know so little about.

    Today’s question comes from Shai Axelrud: Does North Korea have traffic laws, and are government or military drivers subject to the same fines?

    Yes, we do have traffic laws in North Korea. We drive on the right side of the road just like South Koreans and Americans.

    If you are a North Korean watcher, you must have seen one of the traffic girls of Pyongyang. It is one of the most popular jobs for women in North Korea.

    So many girls in North Korea dream of being a traffic girl! But in most regions of North Korea excluding Pyongyang, there isn’t demand for them. In most regions outside of Pyongyang, there isn’t much traffic at all and traffic lights are rare.

    But Pyongyang is home to numerous top party officials who own cars. Therefore, there is a demand for traffic girls in the nation’s capital. Many North Korean girls dream of becoming a traffic girl just like many South Korean girls dream of becoming flight attendants.

    I didn’t grow up in Pyongyang. In my hometown, I got a chance to see traffic girls working in uniform once or twice every time I happened to pass by public offices. Still, the chances to see them were very rare for people in my town: there wasn’t enough traffic or traffic lights!

    On the contrary, it was a lot more common to see male traffic officers. They were always in pairs and stationed at every intersection. They would patrol almost every day, despite rain or heavy snow. That’s because they were greedy and always thirsty for money: they went up to every car, motorbike, bicycle or even wheel cart on the street to threaten them in order to get money. That’s how those male traffic officers received bribes from people.

    In North Korea, all cars are owned by the government, while bicycles are regarded as private property owned by individuals. Individuals who wish to own a bicycle have to register and obtain a permit, as well as pay a large amount of tax. To avoid paying such a significant sum of money simply for the purpose of possessing a bike, some people choose to attach a fake plate to the back of their bike. If they get caught by those male traffic officers, they have no choice but to do whatever they’re told to do by them – usually a bribery in this case.

    Traffic laws for bicycles are far more complicated and diverse than the traffic laws for cars. For example, it used to be that women were not allowed to ride bicycles, and roads for bicycles are reserved exclusively for bike riders. Thus, you’re not allowed to ride a bike on roads reserved for cars.

    It is also prohibited for two people to ride on a single bike together. Yet, North Koreans find ways to go around the rules and laws all the time. Some women secretly ride bicycles to go somewhere, and some people give their friends a ride on their bikes, too.

    But some get caught by the traffic officers. They take extra efforts to avoid those traffic officers by getting off their bikes and push them while passing by those traffic officers. But sometimes traffic officers hide in unexpected places and corners of the road to catch people on the spot.

    Most of the times, people tell you where traffic officers are when they see someone with a bike in the middle of the road. Some people are mean and they don’t tell you even if they have just seen traffic officers on the way, but most people are nice and generous enough to tell you if they see you riding a bike on the road.

    These traffic officers do not work for the safety of people: they work solely for money and bribery. For example, people with a wheeled cart sometimes choose to ride on the asphalt road reserved for cars, since the roads reserved for carts are too bumpy. Traffic officers fine the people who ride their carts on the asphalt roads, and the amount of money you have to pay is sometimes half of your monthly income.

    I don’t know if this has changed since I left North Korea. But while I was growing up there, the average income for most workers was 1200 won – 2000 won per month. If you get caught riding a bicycle, not in accordance with the rules and laws, you have to pay 1000 won in fines.

    You have to pay in cash right on the spot, otherwise they take you to the police office and you have to go to more troubles. It is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

    I have never tried to get a driver’s license back in North Korea. But, as far as I know, you have to sit for exams and drive by yourself and demonstrate a knowledge of car repair in order to get a driver’s license in North Korea, you also have to know all the parts of the car to get a driver’s license.

    It is also rare to see women drivers in North Korea. I have always wanted to ride a motorbike more than a car, but it is illegal for women to ride a motorbike in North Korea. Maybe I will try to ride one here in South Korea!

    Written by Je-son Lee
    Translation by Elizabeth Jae
    Featured image by Adam Westerman

Source NK News
https://www.nknews.org/2017/01/ask-a-north-korean-how-do-north-koreas-traffic-laws-work/?t=1637595618529
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