The enforcement of regulations on clothing in Pyongyang has been stepped up, according to a source from the city. Kim Jong Il is said to have ordered that clothing regulations be adhered to upon his return from Russia at the end of last month.
“After returning from Russia, the General decreed that clothing be regulated more strongly,” a source from the North Korean capital explained to The Daily NK today. “According to those enforcing the regulations, while the General was coming back by train he got angry at seeing men without shirts and women in bold clothing.”
Skinny jeans, short skirts and clothing adorned with accessories and/or lots of writing are all targets of the current crackdown, the source reported, adding that the wearing of lacy skirts is not allowed. However, since it is impossible to catch every single violation, the main targets are apparently the tightest clothing, that which shows too much of a woman’s chest, and that with English writing on it.
“There are patrols every 30 to 50m on side streets, checking the ID of anyone found to be wearing that kind of clothing and notifying their people’s unit,” the source explained. “They are called in to the people’s unit to face criticism.”
As is often the case, the criticism centers on such clothing being a symbol of the dangerous influx of capitalism.
However, in spite of the latest crackdown, there has not been much of a change in people’s clothing, according to the source, who said, “Just as before, there are many people selling second hand Korean clothes or bright clothing in the jangmadang. People buy what they think is nice and just avoid the crackdowns.”