North Korean Female Flight Attendants Model for Publication

Article from Yonhap News:

North Korean Airline ‘Koryo Air’ Female Flight Attendants Featured in Monthly Publication

joseon north korea flight attendants uniform

On July 31, Yonhap News came into possession of the North Korean monthly pictorial publication “Joseon” September edition, featuring five female flight attendant models on the cover.

The flight attendants are walking with their luggage, attired in navy blue uniforms, a change from the red uniforms worn in 2013, and wearing a badge on the left side of the chest featuring Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. An aircraft from Koryo Air can be seen in the background.

With their beautiful smiles, and wearing short skirts, black shoes, sophisticated makeup, necklaces, and other accessories, the flight attendants do not look any different from attendants of other airlines.

The change in the eye-catching and elegant appearance of the flight attendants is an effort by Kim Jong-un’s regime to stimulate tourism by improving the quality of airline service.

In July 2012, while inspecting the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, the first chairman of Kim Jong-un’s National Defense Committee gave orders “to change flight attendant uniforms to match the demands for a more modern attire and to improve service for the in-flight meals.”

Last month, Koryo Air replaced their western style “burgers” with the traditional Korean style “kimbap”[rice, vegetables, and meat wrapped in seaweed].

The “Joseon” magazine propogates, “From all sides, the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport perfectly captures the monumental creations of the Songun times.”

But the ratings given to the North Korean airline are consistently very low.

The England research institute Skytrax evaluates 600 airlines worldwide on criteria such as plane deterioration, boarding amenities, on-board service and in-flight meals, and gave Koryo Air the lowest grade of 1-star out of a maximum possible 5 stars.

They explained, Koryo Air is the only airline to have received a 1-star rating, as “for each criterion evaluated, it was the worst airline.”

Comments from Naver:


Who came to see the cover?


Are there really people taking planes to travel to North Korea???


The pretty ones are in front and the less pretty ones are in the back.


Mr. Reporter, please put more pictures. Why is there only text?


I learn about the picture from the text


Certainly very short…kekeke


“[Handsome] men from the South, [beautiful] women from the North” is old Goryeo stuff. Women in the South are beautiful…


They look like the old ladies from insurance companies.


If girls from the North are all like this, can you really say that men from the South are handsome?


The ones in the very front are super-pretty, Jong-un must be using them well.


The cuties from the North are different from our beauties in the south, they don’t smell like the western world… Beauty vendors from the Joseon Dynasty.


North Koreans are not doing surgery. Who is saying nonsense? The North Korean upper class lives better than you do ——;


“[Handsome] men from the South, [beautiful] women from the North,” is an old story. Now it’s “Men from the South, women from the South.”


They don’t do surgery? bullshit. Defectors say the same, they all do surgery in the North too. Nonsense.


So rural. “Men from the South, women from the North” is really an old story.

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  • Kenpachi Fried Chicken

    North Koreans are the best.

    • redwhitedude

      Move there.

      • Kenpachi Fried Chicken

        Will you buy me a ticket?

        • redwhitedude

          Get it yourself.

          • Kenpachi Fried Chicken

            No I couldn’t, I’m not allowed to spend any cash because I needed them to do my tuition. Can you buy me a ticket?

          • redwhitedude

            Too bad. Why should I? You are the one that thought North Korea is the best not me.

          • Kenpachi Fried Chicken

            Why do you need to assume and insist that someone wants to go to the country when they only find a part pleasant onto them? When someone likes Anime, does that mean they will go to Japan too?

          • redwhitedude

            If you were an obsessed anime fan you would.

          • Kenpachi Fried Chicken

            Hahaha, now you’re coming to me with the “if”, and that’s the word when someone isn’t really sure about his/her opposition’s matter.

            By the way, are you Korean? If you aren’t, do you ever get to come across any racism before? How are South East Asians and Blacks doing there? How does Koreans perceive white people from the west and as well as Europe?

          • redwhitedude

            Hard to gauge people by merely looking at what they type.

  • Doge Wallace

    North Korean flight attendants would be considered “fat” in the south.

    • bigmamat

      I noticed they had healthy normal looking legs. They’re all very pretty.

      • redwhitedude

        Yea, they are more genuine in that regard instead of coming across as model.

        • bigmamat

          I often wonder about actual Korean men. Do they really find those women with super skinny legs and a huge “gap” between their thighs attractive? I know from watching dramas and music videos that some of those women have some really unattractive “hollowed out” looking legs. A couple of actresses I’ve noticed actually look bow legged. So many of them are so thin they look very frail.

          • redwhitedude

            Bow legged? That’s taking it to unhealthy level. There is surgery to remove calf muscle to go thin. Something I consider unhealthy. Most guys probably settle for regular women.

          • bigmamat

            Most of the Korean women I know are pretty small in stature. none of them are even chubby. All but one of them is shorter than me, even with heels. They are all what I call “slightly built”. But my Italian friend from Brooklyn is short too, she’s just, “rounder”. ha ha I have another friend who’s dad is from Finland and she’s tiny too. I’m 5′ 6″ and built like a tank so a lot of women are smaller than me. My daughter is 5′ 9″, not an ounce of fat but she’s a tall girl. I have two sisters. one is 5′ 3″ the other is 5′ 7″. When you’re over 5′ 6″ that’s getting into the taller range for most women. Height matters, you’re just bigger. My daughter wears a size 10 shoe. She’s freaking Xena Warrior Princess. We all hate our thighs, isn’t that terrible?

          • redwhitedude

            As long as you’re not a fashion model.

          • bigmamat

            Not hardly but my daughter could have been. She’s not that skinny now but she was at 14 when a lot of girls start.

          • redwhitedude

            She could have been an airline stewardess. :-)

          • chucky3176

            Ideal weight and height for Korean girls (for Korean guy’s tastes) is the girl who is about 160cm to 164cm, and 45 kg to 49 kg.

          • bigmamat

            That sounds about right except when I see videos where they ask the “man on the street” most of them say they like taller girls. Most of the Korean women I know fit what you’ve described. They’re a lot shorter than me and look like their weight fits their height.

      • chucky3176

        Seriously speaking? They all look like what my 90 year old grandmothers used to look. Perhaps it’s their fashion and perhaps North Korean people’s preference in style. North Korean’s version of a beauty is that of a woman who is plump (considered fat in South Korea), square stocky, with round faces. These are features that North Koreans consider attractive due to the fact that many of them are starving thin, so they idolize healthy looking people with fat bellies and lots of fat in their bodies, signalling wealth, good health, and good intake of food. But features that are all considered homely in terms of South Korean tastes in South Korea. But now a days, North Korean tastes are also rapidly changing due to heavy infiltrations of South Korean popular culture which has changed the tastes of the younger North Koreans.

        • bigmamat

          I didn’t notice the clothes so much as the women. They all had pretty faces and I did notice they were not rail thin. I don’t see anything wrong with a “round face” or even a square jawline which is usually considered more masculine. People are a lot more then just body parts. It’s also rare to find someone that doesn’t have physical flaws even many who are considered “beautiful”. Photoshop and makeup takes care of the rest.

          • chucky3176

            Click on this youtube link which shows the women defectors from North Korea describing their lives in both North and South Korea’s.


            The girl at 0.50 would be considered a very attractive beauty in terms of South Korean taste buds (she also lost her North Korean accent which is considered unattractive). But in North Korea, she was shunned and was told she was “ugly” by North Koreans around her. She was considered too frail, too thin, and was considered to be unable to birth a child. In North Korea, she would be the last one to be considered as a good marriage material.

          • bigmamat

            I don’t need to watch the video to have an opinion about South Korean beauty “standards”. I find them a bit “odd” considering a lot of things I know about SK. I think it’s probably more customary for a nation/culture that has experienced decades of food insecurity to value women with more body weight not less. Body weight and good nutrition are tied to fertility so it makes sense to me. I find the Korean “obsession” with weight, height, big eyes and small faces an import from western cultures. The Japanese are weight obsessed as well but I think they are claiming health benefits over beauty as their reason for being thin. Although nobody can properly explain to me why none of the anime characters actually look Japanese except maybe the bad guy in Perfect Blue.

          • chucky3176

            It’s no longer just South Korean beauty standard, it’s all of Asian beauty standard, in which South Korea is now the gold standard for all things that are fashion and beauty related. If you are considered beautiful in South Korea, you are considered beautiful in Asia. For instance, look at how many Chinese and Thai pop stars that make it in S. Korea pop industry, become instant mega stars in their homelands.

          • bigmamat

            Well I have to admit one reason I’d rather watch a Korean drama than a Chinese is because the men are better looking that’s for sure. The women all look about the same to me regardless of which east Asian country be it China, SK or Japan. The women are all good looking. I don’t really understand why China doesn’t have better looking actors. They have some very good actors but not a lot of what I’d call pretty boys.

          • risotto

            I wondered that about Chinese male actors as well. Like, I love me some Huang Xiaoming and Takeshi Kaneshiro, but for me, it kind of ends there…

          • bigmamat

            Yeah the good ones aren’t so good looking. Of course you don’t need to be good looking to be a good actor. It actually helps to be good looking if you aren’t…lol

  • Pyongyang Unnies.

  • Disqusychology

    Korean woman look very sexy with dark navy blue.

  • ytuque

    No plastic surgery!

    • chucky3176

      classically wrong perception. Many North Korean women from Pyeongyang, who are the upper class peoples, do in fact go under the knife extensively – especially the backroom double eyelid surgery. The air stewardesses in North Korea, can only be picked by the state, and they pick the women who have what they considered the top notch clean pure family roots (no family members going back generations, who were considered state traitors), from the upper previleged class – the 1% of North Koreans which rule the country. The ideal that North Korean women and models are so clean and pure, is complete bullshit made up by people who have no ideal what kind of eugenics and classism North Korea practices that makes Hitler look like a choir boy.

      North Korea worships the people with what is called the “Baekdu Hyultong” (Baekdu bloodline) which literally means the living gods that came from the Baekdu mountain (known as the Changbai Mountain to the Chinese), which the Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un’s families supposedly belongs to. Of course, this is a complete lie. Kim Jong Un’s mother was a a Korean-Japanese woman (one of many women that Kim Jong Il cheated with and gave births to bastard children), and he was born out of wedlock. And Kim Jong Il wasn’t born in Baekdu mountain as North Korea claims. He was born in Russia. All of North Koreans are fed this brainwashed propaganda the first thing they are taught.

      • commander

        Given the prevalence of more drastic plastic surgery in the South, notably double jaw surgery, the procedure for creating double eye lids for flight attendants can be deemed to be not that serious.

  • Dave Park

    I wonder what North Koreans would think if they see Korean Air or Asiana stewardesses?

    Maybe… “South Korea must be a starving country because they are so skinny.”

    • Balkan

      The ladies on the picture above (flight attendants for Air Koryo) look very nice, but the ones n Asiana and Korean Air are amazingly attractive.

  • commander

    We need to admit that no matter what changes North Korea make to boost its international profile, including the redesigned uniforms for female flight attendants–whose picture above is carefully choreographed for an impression to the outside world, those changes are seen as a desperate effort from the reclusive country, only to elicit mockery and teasing from other countries.

    Such derisive responses from outside is cordoned largely off to North Koreans due to strong control by the police state, making us arrive at the conclusion that the release of photos is made with the propaganda purpose targeting its domestic audience.

    Although, as many North Korean defectors claim, North Koreans near the border shared by China have been already swayed by the inflow of information, something described by the North as regime-threatening pernicious from a evil capitalisitc world, many are not quite sure about whether people in the interior are under tight control by the regime’s propaganda apparatus.

    If the assumption that the totalitarian regime’s control over people in inland areas is still strong is right, the photos unveiled are highly likely to be exploited as the instrument to instill those North Koreans with greatness of their country.

    It is all the more useful as Kim Jung-un needs to moderate his ruling tactics from reign of terror, like executions of the top-echelon officials, including his uncle-mentor Jang Sung-taek, to the regrouping and strengthening of its propaganda power–a view that offers in part an account of why the North went berserk over renewed anti-Pyongyang broadcasts from gigantic loudspeakers set up by South Korea in the aftermath of the recent land mine explosion.

  • bultak23

    여승무원들는 결혼하셨어요? 우리 결혼합시다.
    Also, I wonder what snacks are served? 쵸코파이 Choco pies?

    • commander

      Snacks offered in in flight service are replaced with kimbap, a seaweed roll of rice, various vegetables etc., the article says in the middle part.

  • vonskippy

    Before I set foot on a NK airplane, I’d want to see a photo of the aircraft mechanics that maintained the plane. Who cares what the flight attendants look like.

  • Cheriemartyr

    They look average.

  • yoooo i’d hit

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