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`Flirtatious Waitresses` Prompt NK to Close Restaurants

Posted September. 05, 2009 08:05,   


North Korea has closed ten restaurants in Southeast Asia because waitresses working there got too involved with customers, a Hong Kong-based magazine said yesterday.

Yazhou Zhoukan said North Korean waitresses were heavily chastised from their country’s leadership for flirting with South Korean and Japanese customers. Certain waitresses even got romantically involved with tourists or overseas representatives.

Over the past few months, the North has closed 10 restaurants specializing in North Korean cuisine in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The establishments sold traditional North Korean food such as Pyongyang cold noodles to earn dollars for the communist country.

The magazine said North Korean authorities recalled and punished the waitresses in question for “tarnishing” their country’s image. Since certain waitresses worked illegally after their visas expired and immigration crackdowns in the three Southeast Asian countries grew tougher, the North decided to close the restaurants temporarily.

The North’s official reason for the closures is a fall in the number of customers due to the global financial crisis.

The North’s Chosun Cuisine Association, which is aggressively promoting North Korean food abroad after becoming an official organization under the North’s Cabinet a month ago, assumed responsibility for discipline. The association ordered North Korean restaurants around the world to strictly obey the rules.

North Korean restaurants in Southeast Asia are popular among tourists since they are located at tourist destinations where many South Koreans and Japanese visit. The restaurants employ attractive North Korean women in their 20s as waitresses and put on a number of musical performances.