Kim Jong Un is reportedly taking after his father and recruiting new talent to what has become known as the "pleasure squad." Kim Jong Il was a well-known fan of the troupe of female entertainers, which Kim disbanded after his father's death. But it appears he has now had a change of heart. South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reports Kim developed a soft spot for the entertainers while he was being treated for gout last year and a new assortment of "tall and beautiful" women are now undergoing security training at a hotel in Pyongyang before taking up posts as singers, dancers, concubines, and maids. Kim Jong Il's entertainers, meanwhile, have been allowed to return home with the recent end of a three-year mourning period, North Korean expert Toshimitsu Shigemura tells the Telegraph.
Those entertainers were reportedly paid $4,000, while maids received $2,000, plus home appliances. Chosun Ilbo reports they signed "a pledge of secrecy in return for money and gifts." Shigemura explains they "knew many secrets" and Kim wasn't sure they, or anyone else in his father's regime, could be trusted. Now, he "can have a new entertainment group who only have loyalty to him." The first "pleasure squad" sprung up with North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, who recruited females as young as 13 to serve him. "This has been going on under three generations of the Kim family ruling North Korea and it has become a tradition that is also a demonstration of the leader's power over the people and his sexual power," Shigemura says. (In other news, what's up with Kim's eyebrows?)