North Korea is no short of dystopia, except for the fact that it REALLY exists. In the 21st century where majority of the countries have moved to democracy, North Korea is still reeling around family rule in the country. Ever since its inception in 1948, after the Soviet and the US divided the control of Korean Peninsula, North Korea has been under the control of Kim family. Till his death in 1994, the country was ruled by Kim II-Sung. After his demise, his son Kim Jong-II took the reign of the country and the rule later passed on to its present leader Kim Jong-un
Nine years later, the rumours of Kim Jong Un’s deteriorating health have been doing rounds on the internet. With the supposed uncertainty looming over the political future of North Korea, all the eyes are set upon Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo-jong.
Also, those who have been living under the rock are suddenly curious about North Korea, the East Asian country. Upon digging further, you will come to know that North Korea is indeed a strange country with astonishingly weird rules.
In this article, we have clubbed some unbelievably weird facts about North Korea that will definitely make your jaw drop.
1. Children have to work during their school day
You will be shocked to know that children have to work and perform labour to study in a school. Because everything they use their has a cost attached to it, students pay the fees with their hard labour.
2. The head of the country is dead
No we are not talking about Kim Jong Un’s death rumours. North Korea is a necrocracy, which means the country is ruled by a dead leader, Kim Il-sung. He was posthumously declared as the ‘Eternal Leader’ of North Korea. King Jong-un is the Supreme Leader without any presidential status.
3. North Korea kidnapped a film director and his wife to get films made!
As bizarre as it sounds, North Korea allegedly kidnapped Choi Eun-hee and her husband Shin Sang-ok and forced them to make films for the state.
4. It is illegal to have hot water bath at home
For some reasons better known to them, North Korea doesn’t allow its citizens to have hot water bath in their homes. If they need a hot water bath, they have to head to a public bath. Human rights, what are they again?
5. One can get executed for sleeping in morning meetings
It is believed that North Korean defence minister was executed for falling asleep during one of his meetings with Kim Jong-un.
6. If there is a fire, people are required to save Kim Jong-un’s photos first
In an event of fire, the citizens are expected to save the photos of their Supreme Leaders, followed by their own life.
7. International travel is not allowed in North Korea
If you were born a North Korean, forget all your international trips. One needs to seek prior permission before taking a foreign trip in North Korea.
8. Condoms are inexistent for North Koreans
Half of the North Koreans don’t know that condoms exist. Also, women use cloth during their menstrual cycle. They don’t have access to sanitary napkins.
9. Visitors are not allowed to talk to locals
If you happen to be in the country (we wish you don’t), you need a separate permit to talk to the locals.
10. North Korea and South Korea’s loudspeaker war
For many years, North Korea endorsed the country on loudspeaker. South Korea responded by playing K-Rock on loudspeaker.
11. North Korean calendar starts on the birth day of Kim Il-sung
North Korean calendar for the Juche, starts on the day of Kim Il-sung’s birth, i.e. 16th April. According to this, it’s just 109 in Pyongyang.
12. Elections happen with only one candidate
People wait in long queues to vote for who? Kim Kong un. And you thought daily soaps are so baseless?
13. North Korea has only 3 TV channels
With so much of censorship, North Korean government doesn’t want its citizen to watch television. It has only 3 TV channels with programs controlled by the government.
14. North Korea has power cuts every night
Every night, the country goes dark. It is due to the energy crisis in the country which is deficit to fend for its citizen.
15. Parents to give desk and chairs for their kids
Parents who send their kids to school are also asked to provide for desk and chairs for their ward.
16. The punishment goes down to three generations
If a person commits a crime, his entire bloodline has to go to the prison. What is the definition of human rights, anyone?
17. North Korea has a propaganda village
On the border of South and North Korea, there is a propaganda village. There is a buffer zone between the two countries known as Korean Demilitarized Zone. On this border, there is a village called Kijong-dong, which boasts about the economic success of North Korea.
18. North Korean citizens are only allowed access to 28 websites on the internet
However, computers are so expensive in the country and even if they have money, they have to seek permission from the government to have one.
19. North Korea has preserved the mortal remains of Kim Jong-II
North Korea has preserved the dead body of its late leader Kim Jong-II in a glass tomb. Tourists can even visit the place. They are required to bow down at his feet.
20. Blue jeans are illegal in the country
Such a basic thing, blue jeans is not allowed in the country. It is considered to be a symbol of U.S. imperialism.
21. There are only 28 hairstyles for men
Men can choose among 28 hairstyles for themselves. Any hairstyles outside this array can lead to an arrest. Unmarried women are expected to keep their hair short.
22. There is no religious freedom in North Korea
The country prides in calling itself an atheist country. It persecutes anyone who is seen practising any religion.
23. North Koreans collect their poop and hand it over to authorities
Due to South Korea’s ban on fertilizers export to North Korea, the latter has to resort on homemade methods. The citizens provide their poop to the authorities to make fertilizers.
24. Government decides who lives in the capital
It’s solely the government’s decision to decide who gets to live in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Also, the people of the city are not allowed to leave the capital without permission.
25. Pot is LEGAL
The regressive country has banned blue jeans but has allowed pot to move freely. It is freely available to its citizens and can be brought from roadside stalls.
26. Human rights violation is at peak in North Korea
North Korea still practises public execution. The defence chief of the country Hyon Yong-chol was killed infront of hundreds of people with an anti-aircraft gun.
27. North Korea has its own rules for basketball
North Korea has rewritten the basketball rules for itself. According to them, slam dunks are worth three points and field goals in the final 3 minutes are worth eight points.
28. Music is illegal
Why are we not even surprised? Music, just like rest of the things in North Korea, is illegal. In 2015, Kim Jong-un issued a law to scrap all cassettes and CDs which had state-banned songs.
29. North Korea spends whopping amounts of money on military
The country’s economy is in a sorry state and we don’t even wonder why. The population is starving but the government spends most of the money on military.