60 Amazing and Mind Boggling North Korea Facts | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- North Korea forms the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang.
- North Korea shares a land border with China to the north and north-west, along the Amnok and Tumen rivers. A small section of the Tumen River also forms North Korea’s short border with Russia to the north east. The Korean Demilitarized Zone marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea.
- Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. In 1945, when Japan was defeated in World War II, Korea was divided into two zones along the 38 th parallel with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south by the United States.
- Negotiations on unification failed and in 1948 two separate governments were formed: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the Republic of Korea in the south.
- The military of North Korea invaded the South on 25 June 1950, and invaded most of the country. A United Nations force, led by the United States, intervened to defend the South, and rapidly advanced into North Korea. As they reached the border with China, Chinese forces intervened on behalf of North Korea. Fighting ended on 27 July 1953, with an armistice that approximately restored the original boundaries between North and South Korea. More than one million civilians and soldiers were killed in the war.
- North Korea remained closely aligned to China and the Soviet Union while South Korea followed pro western policy and progressed. The last Chinese troops withdrew from North Korea in October 1958.
- Kim Il Sung , the founder of North Korea was born on the day Titanic sunk.
- North Korea is considered one of the most secretive countries in the world. The founder of North Korea, first president Kim Il Sung, created the country’s policy of cutting off North Korea economically and diplomatically from the rest of the world.
- Amazingly Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) the founder is the Eternal President . He had the position abolished for all future so that no one can ever be president again. There are an estimated 34,000 statues of Kim Il Sung in the country. Amazing fact is that every adult is required to wear a pin on their shirt with his face on it every day.
- North Korea has a space program and it only has a 20% success ratio.
- North Korea is the only nation to have captured US navy ship . USS Pueblo was captured in 1968 and is still in their possession.
- Amazingly in 1974, Kim Il Sung took 1,000 Volvo sedans from Sweden to North Korea and never paid for them.
- North Korea has the largest stadium in the world having capacity of 150,000 called Rŭngnado May First Stadium, located in Pyongyang. In the late 90′s it was used as a venue to publicly burn several army generals that were implicated in an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-Il.
- For 20 years , world’s tallest hotel was triangle shaped 105 storey “Empty Pyramid” in Pyongyang in North Korea.
- Until 1972, North Korea’s official capital was Seoul in South Korea because they always planned to retake the south.
- In the 50’s North Korea built a nice city ‘Kijong Dong’ visible from the border. It is actually a Ghost city built to encourage South Koreans in.
People Customs & Culture
- Amazing fact is that Pyongyang is a city only for the elite. It is home to three million people, but only trustworthy, healthy, and loyal citizens can live there.
- North Korea claims to have almost 100% literacy rate.
- The World Food Program estimates that 6 million of North Korea’s 25 million people are in need of food aid or are chronically malnourished.
- Amazingly North Korean “researchers” have concluded that North Korea is the second happiest country in the world behind China .
- Shin Dong-Hyuk is the only man in recorded history to escape a North Korean concentration camp in the “total control zone” . He works tirelessly to alert the world to the vicious human rights abuses in North Korea.
- In 1978, North Korean agents kidnapped South Korean film director Shin Sang Ok and his wife, actress Choe Eun Hui, to create a film industry in North Korea. The couple escaped to the West eight years later during a film festival in Vienna after having made dozens of films.
- In North Korea, marijuana is not only legal, it’s recommended as a healthy alternative to tobacco!
- Amazing fact is that North Korea bases its calendar on Kim Il Sung’s date of birth : 15 April 1912. It isn’t 2014 in North Korea. The year is 102 counted after the birth of Kim II Sung not Jesus.
- When you take a photo of one of the statues, amazingly you must take the photo of the entire body . it’s not permitted to cut off any part of it. If you have a newspaper or any other paper with a leader on it, you’re not allowed to fold the paper or throw it away.
- In fact you will find all kids wearing the same uniform all the time, even when they are not in school.
- Literacy in North Korea is defined by the ability to write “Kim Il-Sung” .
- Kim Jong Il’s body is preserved in a glass tomb and it is the most popular tourist attraction for visitors.
- You can’t turn off Government radio installed in your home. You are only allowed to reduce the volume.
- There are only 3 TV channels in North Korea , two of which are only available on weekends, while the other is broadcast in the evenings.
- Koreans measure age very differently! In Korea, a baby is born being one year old because they include the time in the womb as being alive. Every New Year another year is added to their age.
- A six day work week and a day of enforced ‘voluntary’ work ensures that there is no spare time.
- Everybody is assigned a job by the government after you pass high school with which you are stuck for life. If you want change , you have to bribe your way out.
- Amazing fact is only military and government officials can own motor vehicles.
- There are almost no working traffic lights in North Korea.
- North Korea has its own computer operating system called Red Star OS.
- Both North & South Korea were accepted into the United Nations in 1991.
- North Korea follows Military First policy. It is the world’s most militarized society, with about 9.5 million active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. It possesses nuclear weapons.
- North Korea has the 4th largest army , after China, the U.S., and India and the largest submarine fleet in the world.
- In fact, North Korea spends about one third of its national income on the military.
- The dictator North Korean leader Kim Jong-II never flew on an aeroplane. He travelled by private train for state visits , a decision believed to be connected to his fear of flying, a phobia he shared with his father.
- North Korea publicly executed around 80 people in seven cities in November 2013 . Their crimes included reportedly watching unsanctioned South Korean TV shows and being found in possession of a Bible.
- Any North Koreans who escape to South Korea are awarded free citizenship. In the last 60 years , 23000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea. Only two South Koreans have fled to the North.
- In fact North Koreans who defect to South Korea get $10,000 to $28,000 “start up money.
- During truce talks between North and South Korea, both parties would try to bring a bigger national flag than the other to each meeting. This went on until a special meeting was called to address the size of the flags, as they could no longer fit in the room.
- North Korea has 51 social categories based on their loyalty to the regime.
- Nearly all property belongs to the state. A modern independent judicial system does not exist. Religious freedom does not exist.
- Amazingly North Korean may choose from 28 approved haircuts only.Men are prohibited from growing their hair longer than 2 inches while older men can get away with up to 3 inches.
- No North Korean people have access to the Internet because the government machinery carries out false propaganda and doesn’t want public to know. Government officials using internet are about 600.
- There is horrifying “Three generations of punishment” sentence in North Korea. This means entire family of prisoner will be sent to the camp and their subsequent two generations born in camp will also spend their entire life there. This punishment is reserved for political crimes like criticizing the Government or trying to escape.
- North Korea’s Prison Camps’ conditions are so bad that 20 to 25 per cent of the prison population dies every year.
- Hoeryong concentration camp in North Korea currently has 50000 men , women & children suffering slavery and torture for years.
- North Korea holds election every 5 years where ballot paper has only one candidate. To vote against that candidate , you have to enter special booth.
- Most visitors to the country are forced to stay in the same hotel when they’re in Pyongyang with guards surrounding. Visitors can’t travel alone . They can travel with special guides provided.
- In 2013, North Korea’s president killed his own uncle by throwing him naked into a cage with 120 starving dogs.
- Dogs are banned in Pyongyang to keep it clean.
- North Korea still uses a fax machine to send threats to South Korea.
- All teachers in North Korea in the 1990s were required to pass accordion playing test before getting teaching certification.
- Malaysians are the only nationality allowed to visit North Korea without a visa.
- North Korea’s economy was larger than South Korea until the 70’s. Today it’s GDP is just 2.5% of that of South Korea.The North Korean GDP equals just half of the richest man in the world’s net worth.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team