Yunmi Teahouse Sex Scandal

Choi Choel Hee  |  2008-09-04 11:24
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It has been reported that approximately twenty North Korean officials have been laid off, and some even publicly shot, due to the so-called Yunmi Teahouse Sex Scandal. The case came to a head at the beginning of July in Hamheung city, the capital of South Hamkyung Province.

The Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (NKnet) reported in its journal NK In & Out, released on Thursday that a chief of an army base was charged with smuggling illicit drugs in Hamheung on July 10th and was executed by firing squad. It has also been reported that this execution received more attention locally because the owner of the Yunmi Teahouse was executed along with the military official.

The journal added that The 25 year-old woman known as Yunmi operated the teahouse and accrued large amounts of money through the business of debauchery, including prostitution. The teahouse was able to evade various inspections because many members of the military and the Party in Hamheung were its main clients.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that these high-ranking officials spent at least a hundred thousand won (approx. 31 USD) each visit, which resulted in some 20 officials being charged with prostitution.

New IT business trend in North Korea

The journal also includes information about North Koreas recent jangmadang (markets) developments, stating that memory cards for digital cameras and even USB flash drive sticks can be bought easily in the jangmadang of major cities these days.

The journal explained that most of the memory cards are under 1GB and although there are various types of memory cards, they are sold for ten to fifty thousand North Korean Won on average (approx. 3,400 to 17,200 South Korean Won, 3 to 16 USD). Demand for memory cards has been increasing due to the popularity of digital cameras and computers.

Recently there have been individuals that operate photo businesses at photo studios or state-operated shops in the downtown areas of cities. It is known that most of these individuals use digital cameras imported from China rather than film cameras.

The journal clarified that digital pictures can also be easily printed because certain trade organizations, broadcasting companies, convenience stores, or provincial computer centers have set up technology shops providing services to print pictures or produce music CDs.

Notably, a third of middle school students in large border cities own MP3 players and two to three students per class have personal computers at home. It is presumed that many more people own MP3 players or computers in major cities such as Pyongyang.

NK In & Out

Through the first issue of NK In & Out, NKnet is trying to emphasize the importance of a sincere approach to North Korea that observes actual changes in peoples lifestyles in North Korea, because the developing reality of North Korea requires a new perspective.

Additionally, NKnet points out that despite the fact that the amount of available information on North Korea has been substantially augmented compared to in the past, it is not enough to fulfill all expectations. NKnet states that it is our hope to reach the truth of North Korea, as more information and sources become available. That is the viewpoint that NK In & Out shares.

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