Return of the Pyongyang Traffic Girls – Picture Post

Brought back from their Sept. 2010 retirement, these April 2012 photos posted below show Pyongyang traffic girls performing their classic signal direction routine photos by Joseph A Ferris III

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

From a previous post:  To our delight, the traffic girls of Pyongyang were brought out of retirement to help deal with the massive traffic congestion, and perhaps to add a little more color to the city for ’Eternal President’ Kim Il Sung’s 100th year birthday celebrations.

On my first visit (summer 2011) we had been saddened to learn that the girls had been replaced by a modern traffic light system. They could still be seen on occasion, running roadside signal lamp switches, working road construction sights, or directing traffic during the frequent power outages, but we missed their famous directing routines performed at the main city intersections. I’m happy to report that this April they were back directing traffic throughout Pyongyang, and although I have no idea how long this will last, I got some great pics during this special opportunity and will be sure to have a follow-up post sharing the best of them! 

This is the follow-up picture post with those promised photos posted below!

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Remaining photos show the Pyongyang traffic girls performing their normal post retirement duties: cross walk safety overloading and manual light phasing – all from April 2012.

Pyongyang, North Korea Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girls

Pyongyang Traffic Girls

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

Pyongyang Traffic Girl

10 responses

  1. ben

    Hi, I’m half south korean, studying in the UK and I’ve always been intrigued by what North Korea is like. Enormous respects to you and the information you have obviously provided as accurately as you can; it is a pleasure to be able to read through these articles that contain information I trust. I’m very curious about one thing though: is there a sentiment of North-South reunification among North Koreans or have they come long enough a way to forget and develop their own sense of national pride ? I feel like the latter may be the case, but I have such an intense hatred for the family who has ruled North Korea as if it were a kingdom, that I don’t want to believe it.

    How could North Koreans be fooled for so long that their country is on a higher moral ground than all other countries, when the leadership is showing the exact opposite? Do they really think foreigners have it worse or what ? Some North Koreans know what real prosperity looks like across the border to Seoul, yet most of the country still seems to turn a blind eye to the fact that everyone in the country is basically working for the ruling family’s sole benefit and indulgence.

    It may not be as clear cut as assumed here, but isn’t it the basic idea ? Seriously, what is up ?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  2. Hi Ben, thanks for the question, obviously you hit on some really complex problems and social dynamics that exist in the North, I will need some time to really think through my answer, especially since I try not to deal heavily with politics here – too much politics and I could lose the access I have on my trips to the North, or have my next visa declined. But as long as I deal with issues in an even handed and in a truthful manner, as my on the ground observations allow, I can get away with a lot – let me get back to you.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  3. ben

    Although I barely speak korean and I barely know my family over there, being half korean, I worry sick for the future of the peninsula; I feel like the economic gap between north and south is widening as long as the Kim Jong Un family holds a firm grip on power and nuclear weapons. The way governments come to acquire nuclear weapons as a sort of “guarantor” of power or of “peace” as they like to call it, is extremely scary and I think represents the triumph of fear over will (cowardice). I just wonder what North Koreans really think about their own life and the future generations; surely opposition to the regime is growing. I look forward to your response because you certainly have a broader scope on the subject.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

  4. ben

    by the way I read your description on the side, and I have a huge respect and admiration for what you have been doing with your life. Major props.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm

  5. I actually have my answer written up and would like to post it as it’s own post if you dont mind. Probably will do so tomorrow after a few more proof reads in the morning.

    May 16, 2012 at 1:06 am

  6. ben

    not at all! I look forward to reading it

    May 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  7. James

    There is (was) a Traffic Girl’s cafe around the main tourist book store across from he main department store. It was basically a place where they met before and after work and relaxed when not on duty. You could go an peer in and they would all giggle and such. Childish, but fun for a bit.

    June 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

  8. Pingback: Pyongyang Traffic Girl Of The Month « American in North Korea

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