Prostitution industry spreads in North Korea

Lee Sang Yong  |  2017-08-30 20:01
Read in Korean  
According to sources inside North Korea, more women are getting involved in the sex trade industry in regions of North Korea with floating populations, such as North Pyongan Provinces Sinuiju City.

Women in their twenties can be seen in front of the Kapmun Hotel in Sinuiju, soliciting customers, said North Pyongan Province-based source in a phone call to Daily NK on August 28. The women stand near the hotel entrance and ask the passing men, Why not get a massage before you go? 

If one goes to the main street or around the station in the downtown area, its easy to see 200-300 women working as prostitutes. If theyre able to find a customer, they typically pay about 100 yuan (approximately US $15), of which their personal take will be about 20 yuan ($3), the source continued.

According to the source, the charge is different depending on the area. In Sinuiju, it costs about 150 yuan to be with a woman in her twenties and 100 yuan for a woman in her thirties. Sometimes the police (Ministry of Peoples Security agents) will provide some level of security for a price, but in other cases, the women go out on their own.   
Asked about the reason behind the increase in women joining the sex trade, the source noted that it is a side effect of the countrys marketization. Some women who are unable to participate in the market economy in conventional ways are using prostitution as a way to earn money. It doesnt require start up capital and is an easy way to earn money compared to other kinds of work. 

The source described one Sinuiju womans reason for becoming involved in the sex trade: Her husband was discharged from military service after becoming disabled. Even if they amputate a leg, they dont provide any compensation or assistance, so she had no choice but to make a living and support the family by resorting to prostitution.  

When asked about how things have changed over time, a source in South Pyongan Province said, A while back, there werent many prostitutes in Sinuiju, South Pyongan Provinces Pyongsong, or Kangwon Provinces Wonsan. But now the industry is flourishing all over the country, and this has enticed more women to join in.

She noted seeing women offer ice (meth) to their male clients, stating, Now that illegal drug usage is spreading in North Korea, the residents have another issue to contend with that makes their lives difficult."

*Edited by Lee Farrand

Advertisements, links with an http address and inappropriate language will be deleted.