Umbrellas of Pyongyang (Update below)


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Traffic Control Platform beneath Umbrella Installed at Intersections of Pyongyang

Pyongyang, August 13 (KCNA) — Unique platforms under umbrellas are being set up in traffic control posts at intersections of Pyongyang these days, attracting attention of people.

The round platform under well-shaped large umbrella is clearly seen at far distance.

The umbrella shields the traffic controllers from sunrays and rain and the platform shuts out heat from the heated asphalt.

The female traffic controllers are commanding the traffic with a bright face on the platform under the umbrella even in the hottest period of summer.

Passers-by stop walking for a while to see the new scene.

They say it can be seen only in the country led by Kim Jong Il.

The traffic controllers are moved by the warm affection shown for them by General Secretary Kim Jong Il who saw to it that the platforms with umbrellas are being set up this time after raincoats, rain boots, sunglasses, gloves and cosmetics as well as seasonal uniforms were provided to them.

UPDATE: MarkT seems to have discovered similar technology (though much older) in Afghanistan:


Image from Military Photos


6 Responses to “Umbrellas of Pyongyang (Update below)”

  1. james says:

    I laughed a lot when I read this.

  2. NKObserver says:

    Way cheaper than traffic lights, the umbrellas also shield the delicate complexions of the traffic wardens. Lovely gesture by the benevolent general. 😉

  3. Chris says:

    How about something to eat instead.

  4. MarkT says:

    I ran across a picture of something similar in Afghanistan. 12th photo down at

    There’s something vaguely unsettling when viewing both pics side-by-side.

  5. Neil Robinson. says:

    Goodness, i noticed that Kernbeisser’s photostream on Flickr had a pic of one of these umbrellas…… neat !!

  6. Simon says:

    They have traffic lights too but only use them when it is very hot or very cold (not sure what the actual temperatures they use to judge this are) and these umbrella things are only used at some of the junctions. I remember hearing somewhere sometime about how they used to have 4 colour traffic lights as well, one light was blue and was specifically for indicating it was alright to turn right, I’ve never seen one of these though – not sure of the veracity of that claim!
    Also the traffic ladies only work on crossroads, the roundabouts of Pyongyang are staffed by traffic men (not chosen for their looks I think) – all manned junctions in Kaesong are staffed by men