Waitresses Flee North Korean Restaurants in Qingdao China

2 cases confirmed since October… Northern authorities exerting arrests
Kim Yong Hun, Reporter  |  2006-12-15 14:51
▲ A leaflet distributed to Chinese restaurants in search of the women ⓒ the Daily NK
At a North Korean restaurant in China, female waitresses have fled their work and it has been confirmed that the restaurant is now distributing leaflets in search of the women. Workers stationed in overseas North Korean restaurants receive orders from North Korean authorities.

A newsgroup from Qingdao, China claimed on the 14th that North Korean authorities have been treating the female escapees as defectors and while distributing leaflets have been taken separate action to capture the women.

The newsgroup said “In a tourist area of Shilaoren (石老人), Qingdao, many Korean tourists seek the “Pyongyang Moran-kwan (Peony Restaurant)” where a waitress Kim Eun Jung (23) disappeared on the 7th last month. Though the restaurant is distributing leaflets stating the worker as a “missing person,” the people at the restaurant believe that she ran away.”

The leaflet distributed by North Korean authorities revealed “Kim disappeared in a red taxi” and “A reward will be given to anyone who has information on her whereabouts.”

Prior to this incident, last October at a North Korean “Pyongyang restaurant” in the same area, there was a case where a female waitress was caught while trying to escape and forcefully repatriated back to North Korea. At the time, the restaurant also claimed “missing persons,” however it was revealed that she was actually caught while attempting to flee with a Korean-Chinese man.

The newsgroup said “After being forcefully repatriated back to North Korea this woman will be investigated by the National Security Agency and sentenced to education and military service” and “An affiliate of the restaurant said that the consequences will be much more severe than an average defector.”

“Recently the number of waitresses fleeing has grown dramatically and hence the police groups created by the National Security Agency are frantically trying to catch these people” said the newsgroup. Normally, 2, 3 employees reside with the workers in order to control them.

The source said “Because the waitresses in China have lots of contact with Korean tourists, Korean-Chinese and Chinese people, they aspire a foreign land and dream of the possibility of a new life.”

It is not difficult to see North Korean operated restaurants in China and many Korean tourists also go in search of these restaurants. In particular, many of the restaurants are based in Dandong, Yanji, Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun and Qingdao. In Qingdao alone, there are 6 restaurants operated by North Korea with 70 North Korean staff.
 
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