[imText1]The ways North Korean women assist their husbands can be distinguished according to their social class. Those in the upper classes have the most to lose…
The action of paramount importance for the wives of those who work for the Party, the Army or other governmental sections such as foreign currency-generating enterprises is to help husbands advance their careers.
The method is clear. There are two things a North Korean official has to be the most careful of: corruption and adultery. Since 2000, the number of officials getting expelled from position and Party for adultery has been growing.
In the past there have been many cases of persons involved in adultery issues being expelled, discharged from the Party or seriously punished. However, before the famine of the late 1990s, wives of officials got into comparatively less trouble over such affairs than these days. In this century, general social discipline has deteriorated; the irregularity and corruption of officials has been getting more acute. The authorities are trying to turn the tide. If one were to be caught by inspections, whole families as well as the officials themselves could be purged from Pyongyang; exiled to the countryside and a much harder life indeed.
Therefore, a wife who has a husband with ability and power should wholly assist him so as not to be implicated in any immoral or corrupt affairs. An adultery case, then, is not only a simple question of a married couple’s morality; it is also a direct question of a family’s life and death.
In one North Pyongan Province factory where several thousand workers toiled, 70 percent of the workers were women, and all of them strongly desired to join the Party; a basic condition for success in life. Unfortunately, the secretary of the Primary Party Committee in the factory began to exploit their need. The secretary was finally dismissed for giving recommendations to join the Party in exchange for sex.
As such affairs are relatively common all over the country, the wives of officials sometimes follow their husbands to their working places.
The wife of an organizing secretary at a munitions factory located in North Pyongan Province in 2003 attended a barbershop attached to the factory to check on the details of her husband activities. Therefore, at that time, workers commented, “Now we have two Secretaries of the Primary Party Committee in our factory.”