North Korea is a country shrouded in secrecy. However, as the regime’s notoriety grows, snippets of disturbing information are slowly but surely making their way into the Western world, including the fact that Kim Jong-un has a “pleasure squad”.

As the name suggests, this is a group of young women – all certified virgins – who tend to his every need, sexual and otherwise.

The news report below details more about this disturbing group:

Known as the “Gippeumjo”, which literally translates to “happiness squad”, the teenagers selected for this seemingly exclusive role have lives which, to the unsuspecting onlooker, appear to be luxurious and comfortable by North Korean standards.

Materially, they want for nothing and are given luxury accommodation, clothes, and goods – but this all comes at a terrible price.

In exchange for these luxuries, the pleasure squad are expected to entertain the supreme leader with dancing, massages, and, if he is feeling frisky, sexual favors. The women chosen to be in the squad are carefully selected so that they can perform these tasks exceptionally.

Given North Korea’s reputation for executing those who don’t comply with the regime, including whole families, it is likely that none of the pleasure squad even contemplate refusing to carry out these tasks out of fear of what could happen to them as a result.

Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, was the first North Korean dictator to have a pleasure squad in the 1970s. Because of how problematic the squad is by nature, the country did everything in its power to keep its existence a secret until former members started speaking out.

Despite this, pleasure squads continued to exist throughout the leadership of Kim Jong-il. However, when Kim Jong-un first became the leader, they were removed from existence. This was believed to be the result of the Western influence of Jong-un’s Swiss education.

Then, in 2015, they came back into existence, so this clearly wasn’t the case.

The pleasure squad is formed by government officials who search the country for the most suitable candidates. They have to be between 13 and 15 years old and have a beautiful face, a soft and feminine voice and be 170 cm tall.

The last quality is a particularly difficult one to meet in a country where the average height of a woman is just 151 cm.

The teenagers in question must also be virgins and this is confirmed during the selection process by a medical examination.

A staggering 2,000 girls are chosen. Once they’ve been selected, they are then taken from their families with no explanation for what they are going to do other than governmental work. They are then sent off to training and the crème de la crème eventually end up with the leader.

A former member revealed that the women will be in service for a total of 10 years. During this time, where they live in the capital of Pyongyang or summer villas, they are forbidden from contacting their families and have to write a pledge of allegiance to their master.

Mi Hyang, who was one of Kim Jong-il’s pleasure girls, said in a 2010 interview with Marie Claire magazine that they had their pubic hair shaved by men in the leader’s close circle when they started making intoxicated bets on them.

When members of the pleasure squad “retire”, around the age of 25, they are married off to members of the elite and the leader’s inner circle. This is done so that the horrors they have endured remain a secret, although this has obviously not been entirely successful.

When Kim Jong-il died, his pleasure squad were also given $4,000 as a reward for their service.

While nothing about Kim Jong-un’s current pleasure squad is known, information from his import records sheds a lot of light on what they could be expected to do, with The Sun reporting that he spent $3 million importing lingerie from China in 2016.

Jong-un’s also known for enjoying French wine and Russian vodka, so it’s more than likely that the squad are expected to attend to him at parties.

Life in North Korea, however, is expected to change radically over the coming years, with the country taking a number of steps towards improving its reputation on the international stage – including Jong-un agreeing to meet his sworn enemy President Trump.

A meeting between Jong-un and Trump could benefit the wider world given the growing risk of nuclear war breaking out between North Korea and the United States.

We can only hope that Jong-un’s pleasure squad benefits also from these changes, and, with any luck, are relieved of their duties.