Choosing Your North Korean Spouse
Sherman Oaks, California
North Korean defector Park Choel Yong writes about the criteria that North Korean men and women use in accepting a spouse. (Most marriages in the DPRK are proposed by the parents.)
Park's none-too-surprising observations: Women prefer men with money or power. Men prefer women with money or from a prominent family but, in a pinch, it's OK if she's just good looking.
Interestingly, rural women are quick to become engaged to most anybody because engagement allows them to be re-classified by the state as "housewives" and therefore to receive rations without having to work in the fields, Park reports.
The article references the notorious "Party Department Number 5," the personal attendants of the senior leadership. Department 5 includes a squad of actresses, singers and models who reportedly double as the senior leaders' harem. Retirement -- meaning marriage to an Army or Party official -- is expected by age 25, Park writes.
[The photograph depicts a bridal party in a Pyongyang park.]