Welcome to the secret high-class sex parties for North Korea’s elite, where schoolgirls as young as 13 are allegedly forced into servitude for their leaders’ pleasure.
The girls are picked out at random by soldiers – sometimes from their own school classrooms. Their family and medical histories are closely examined, and routine check-ups are performed to ensure their virginity is intact.
Over the following decade, these girls are expected to service the small military circle of North Korea’s elite. They are known as the leader’s Pleasure Squad – or Gippeumjo.
These are the claims of various defectors who managed to escape North Korea over the past decade.
Each one describes the mysterious group in similar terms - a bizarre secret world where girls are plucked out of society and trained as high-class adult entertainers.
The Pleasure Squad is made up of 2000 North Korean girls, and divided into three specialised groups - one for sexual services, one for giving massages, and one for live singing and dancing, which they can be made to do semi-nude.
Within the walls of North Korea, the practice is incredibly secretive, and knowledge of its existence comes solely from defectors who have fled to China or South Korea.
Even the families of girls in the Squad are not told where they are going - only that they are taking part in “important government projects”. From that moment on, the girls are not permitted to see or speak to their relatives.
Less than six months after his father’s death, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported that Kim Jong Un, the current leader of North Korea, was seeking new “entertainers” for his own Pleasure Squad, just after the formal three-year mourning period for his father.