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Pyongyangites forced to eat at Pyongnam Myonok restaurant

The Pyongyang municipal government is taking action after a central government agency ordered it to fill up the seats at the newly expanded and renovated Pyongnam Myonok restaurant in the city’s Moranbong District, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in Pyongyang told Daily NK on Monday that the People’s Services Guidance Bureau issued an order earlier this month calling on the Pyongyang municipal government to help ensure full operation of the restaurant, which overlooks the Sino-Korean Friendship Tower, “so that there’s a lively atmosphere there in line with the New Year’s mood.”

The restaurant was renovated and expanded last December.

The People’s Services Guidance Bureau issued the order because it would look bad if the restaurant remained empty, rendering its recent renovation and expansion worthless, the source said.

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Accordingly, the Pyongyang People’s Committee issued an order calling on the finance departments of all agencies and enterprises in the city to distribute meal tickets for Pyongnam Myonok during January, with dates selected for each workplace and work team. The order stated that there should be no empty seats at the restaurant during lunch and dinner.

According to the source, the employees of all the restaurants in downtown Pyongyang, including Okryu-gwan and Chongnyugwan, received Pyongnam Myonok meal tickets, while district offices distributed them to the neighborhood watch units and branches of the Socialist Women’s Union.

However, many Pyongyang residents are unhappy about this development because they are being forced to eat at Pyongnam Myonok even if they want to eat elsewhere. Meanwhile, people living in far-flung districts are in a special predicament because they have to set aside a whole day for the trip.

Officials and workers at other restaurants are also confused because, with everyone flocking to Pyongnam Myonok, fewer people are coming to restaurants such as Okryu-gwan, Chongnyugwan, and Pyongyang Myonok, making it harder for them to achieve their business targets for the first month of the year, the source said.

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“By creating an exuberant atmosphere, [the People’s Services Guidance Bureau] wants to promote the newly renovated and expanded Pyongnam Myonok to the people, but they also want to take the opportunity to fulfill the goals they haven’t achieved so far.”

The People’s Services Guidance Bureau receives daily reports from Pyongnam Myonok and checks them to see if the amount of noodles and beer sold matches the number of meal tickets distributed, the source added.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

January 16, 2024 at 10:50AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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