1/7 Hard to imagine now, but North Korea once had a dapper cabinet - revolutionary "Mad Men" no less. Taken from a 1946 NK publication confiscated by the US Army and now kept at the National Archives, Washington DC. We start with two views of Kim Il-sung looking like a K-Pop star
2/7 Commerce Minister Chang Si-yu (商業相張時雨) needs only a pair of aviators (confiscated from a GI perhaps) to look as fly as Isaac Hayes. In fact, he already looks fly.
3/7 State Planning Commissioner Chong Chun-taek (國家計劃委員長鄭準澤) looks like your Ivy League darling. Vice Prime Minister Hong Myong-hui (副首相洪命熹) resembles Godfather and probably was one, his daughter being Kim Il-sung's wife.
4/7 Both Attorney General (or was it Chief Censor?) Kim Won-bong (檢閱相金元鳳), a Yan'an Faction leader friendly with the CCP, and Vice Prime Minister Park Hon-yong (副首相朴憲永), head of the Southern Faction, wear typical 1940s suits with large four-inch lapels.
5/7 Labour Minister Ho Song-taek (勞動相許成澤) looks like the boy next door/your crush in high school who could take off his suit and go dominate the basketball court. Transport Minister Chu Nyong Ha (交通相朱寧河) looks more like the boy across the aisle who has a crush on you.
6/7 Speaker of Parliament Ho Hon (議長許憲), who did not last very long in North Korea (dead by 1951), looks like a teacher who would send Ho Song-taek to detention. Chairman of Parliament Kim Tu-bong (人民會議委員長金枓奉), a linguist and historian, has the air of a headmaster.
7/7 And here is an earlier cabinet list, where some of the people photographed are present. Most of them studied in Japan, Manchuria or colonial Korean institutions. If this isn't enough to overturn our stereotypical understanding of early North Korea, I don't know what would.
Clarification: Photos taken from publications in both 1946 and 1948. Name of Commerce Minister spelt "Chang Si-u"

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