Kim’s weakness on the menu as waitresses defect

Waitresses singing at a North Korean restaurant in China
Waitresses entertain the audience at a North Korean restaurant in Jilin province, China. Restaurant staff must be musically talented and show loyalty to Kim Jong-un (source: dpa)


  • Defection of waitresses came at a bad time for Kim Jong-un
  • The workers needed help from China to arrive in South Korea safely
  • A large number of high-ranking officials have escaped to other countries
  • China may be using such incidents to retaliate for the North Korean leader’s recent moves

On April 8, 2016, the South Korean government announced the defection of 13 employees of a North Korean government-owned restaurant in China. The news came just one week before “the Day of the Sun,” North Korea’s biggest and most important annual festival. Pyongyang was furious, blaming the Chinese national security organization for not stopping the workers.

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