Of the many trends and conspiracies circling the internet, one is the rumor that Kim Jong-Un—supreme leader of North Korea—may have fallen sick of the coronavirus, maybe even dead. It’s hard to tell what’s happening in one of the most secretive and isolated countries in the world; we don’t even know if the people there are aware there’s a global-health crisis or whether the government is responding. Whether he’s ill or not, amongst the speculations is the controversy that Kim may be reviving an old family tradition.
“Their hedonistic paradise of girls, sex, and booze.”
Foreign intelligence assumes that rather than Kim Jong-Un being dead or sick as the media has already speculated, he may be in hiding with a possible harem of “tall and beautiful” women known as the Kippumjo, or the “Pleasure Squads.”
“Pleasure Squads” were a group of 2,000 young and attractive women who provided various forms of “entertainment”—and not just the singing and dancing type—to the authorities and high-ranking officials of the Workers Party of Korea (WKP), including the Kims. They’re thought to have been created by Kim Jong-Un’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung as his hedonistic paradise of girls, sex, and booze.
In forming the group, there were specific requirements depending on the leader’s interests: Kim Il-Sung had a creepy and perverted interest in virgins who had to be at least 5’5”. Their virginity had to be proven through “virginity tests” to ensure their hymens were still intact. His successor had a desire for mature women, and wanted their faces to be the shape of a duck’s egg and said they shouldn't have any scars or blemishes, and their voices should be soft and feminine.
These young women and girls are reduced to nothing but objects of pleasure and entertainment as they’re separated into three different groups: some would go on to train in singing and dancing, some would give massages to the top officers, and others would provide sexual services to high-ranking officers.
What’s more despicable is that the majority of those girls were taken from schools, some as young as 13. One example is My Hiyang, a former member of the Pleasure Squad and a defector who escaped after her family was accused of treason. She was only fifteen when authorities interrupted her class and picked her to be in the group.
“They inspected all the female students and put aside some of them, including me, and made a detailed record of my family history and school record. I was asked whether I ever slept with a boy. I felt so ashamed to hear such a question.”
Throughout the two years she served the leader, she developed a close, intimate relationship with him.
Other than Mi Hiyang, there were countless other North Korean defectors who had some form of experience with this vile group. Lee So Yeon escaped to the south in 2008 and recalls, in reference to the North Korean cheerleaders at the 2018 Winter Olympics, "It might seem like a fancy show on the outside [but] they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services." Lee Il-Nam is another defector and the nephew of Kim Il-Sung, and some of his insights and experiences were recounted in his book Kim Jong-Il’s Royal Family.
Where are the Pleasure Squads now?
After his father died, Kim Jong-Un disbanded his group of sex slaves and cheerleaders. Unlike his father and grandfather, he didn’t create a harem of women for his own pleasure. But it’s assumed that five years after Kim Jong-Il’s death, he may have recreated the group and recruited young girls around the nation.
The media sparked conversation about his health and possible death amidst the outbreak, but we know now from his unexpected reappearance that he’s not going anywhere. Whether Kim Jong-Un really was in quarantine with his group of singing cheerleaders and virgin schoolgirls or not, little is known about what really happens inside North Korea.