DPRK restaurant in Dandong

China Daily reports on a North Korean restaurant in the Chinese border city of Dandong (hat tip to O.P.). According to the article:

Choe says she came to Dandong four months ago. Her restaurant is one of Dandong’s most luxurious and one of the few establishments in the Chinese city bordering the DPRK that is still seeing brisk business in the wake of Pyongyang’s nuclear test in May and subsequent missile launches.

The Korea Restaurant, is located near the only bridge linking Dandong and the DPRK, through which the Chinese army reached the DPRK and joined the Korean War in 1950. All of about 20 tables were full on the Saturday afternoon we visited recently, despite prices that are double that of common restaurants in Dandong serving the same food.

Some men from the DPRK in dark yellow or blue suits, with pins of DPRK leader on their chests, also dined there.

Choe’s colleagues, equally young and attractive, wait at tables in blue skirt suits and light makeup. They wear stylish, high-heeled shoes and watches, serving guests with smiles.

“The main reason for the restaurant’s good business is the DPRK waitresses. It’s the easiest way to meet people from that country,” said a taxi driver, surnamed Li.

“Though border trade has been slashed, more and more people are interested in the DPRK after the recent events. You can even see more Westerners here,” Li said.

Shan Jie, board chairman of the Dandong Federal Business Corp which runs cross-border trade, said the waitresses “are by no means common DPRK citizens”.

“They’re all children of DPRK cadres and graduates of Kim Il-sung University. They can speak Chinese, and are very talented in singing and dancing,” said Shan, who has conducted businesses with the DPRK for 16 years. Most of the DPRK cadres attend that university, he said.

The girls were sent to Dandong for training and will have “a promising future as civil servants” when going back home, Shan said.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to practice Chinese and meet Chinese people of all levels. Besides, they earn money for their country,” he said.

Pyongyang has many restaurants in Dandong, and many DPRK ministries such as the ministries of trade and security have their own restaurants there, Shan said.

Choe said the Korea Restaurant is of the same restaurant chain as Beijing Pyongyang Begonia Flower Restaurant, a famous luxury Korean restaurant said to be run by a DPRK merchant with a military background.

When asked whether she is the daughter of DPRK officials, Choe switched to speaking in Korean with a colleague before ending the conversation.

“The girls here mostly work for one and half years I’ll stay for about three years,” Choe said.

“Dandong is pretty and people here are quite nice. But I will go back to my country, Pyongyang is the most beautiful place in the world.”

If any readers in Dandong could help identify where these restaurants are, I would appreciate it.  I would like to mark them on Google Earth and Wikimapia.

Read the full article here:
DPRK waitress in China shares a day in her life
China Daily
Li Xiaokun and Wang Huazhong


2 Responses to “DPRK restaurant in Dandong”

  1. Fraser says:

    There are several DPRK restaurants in Dandong – at least four along the street facing the river near the bridge, and at least another two in streets further away from the bridge. At the restaurant I ate at, my guide said that the staff were all from the Koryo and Yanggakdo hotels in Pyongyang, and there were Koryo Hotel business cards on the counter. He also told me that the waitresses get to work for three years in Dandong before heading back home.

  2. straitgate says:

    Koryo Restaurant
    No. 1 Liuwei Road, Zhenxing District, Dandong

    Chongnyu Restaurant
    No. 93 Jinjiang Street, Dandong

    Okryu Restaurant
    No. 3 Kuangyan Residential Area, Zhenxing District, Dandong

    Jindallae Restaurant
    Jiangcheng Street, Zhenxing District, Dandong

    Myohyangsan Restaurant
    No. 38-1 Xinan Street, Yuanbao District, Dandong

    Samch’olli Restaurant
    Room 103, No. 26, Section C, Yanjiang Development Zone, Dandong

    Songdowon Restaurant
    15F, Section B, Yanjiang Development Zone, Dandong

    Andogak Restaurant
    Section A1, Yanjiang Development Zone, Dandong