They have nuclear weapons. They’re working day and night to build rockets that can carry those nuclear weapons to the mainland United States. But that’s only the beginning of the bizarre, elaborate, almost cartoonish evil of North Korea – the most dangerous and reclusive country on earth.
1. Totalitarian Barbie.
Sources claim that Kim Jong-Un underwent plastic surgery in order to appear more like his grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea. I guess thats just part and parcel with being the leader of a creepy, dynastic death cult.
2. The Hateful Dead.
Bizarrely, North Korea is the only country in the world that is technically a necrocracy that is, a government ruled by a dead person. Legally, Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, is still its head of state, despite the fact that he died in 1994. Leave it to North Korea to set the gold standard for crazy.
This is all part of the regimes ridiculous propaganda. The cult-like environment is meant to hypnotize the people in a world of myth and folklore, rather than the reality of poverty and oppression.
3. Devil in the denim.
One of the most eyebrow raising government regulations is a ban on any denim products. North Koreans are forbidden to wear jeans. Reports state that denim is a crime because it symbolizes the great enemy – the United States of America. Along with a whole slew of new restrictions, Kim Jong-un recently issued a ban on denim and body piercings. Pyongyang, the countrys elite-infested capital, fears that its citizens may otherwise be exposed to western clothing
4. Are you a dictator or a rapper?
Former dictator Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Uns father, spent about 500 times the average North Korean’s annual income on cognac every year. He also reportedly spent 700,000 on Hennessy each year. That’s about $913,000 at today’s exchange rate; Kim Jong-Il died in 2011. The average annual income in North Korea according to a 2013 estimate, is $1,000 to $2,000.
5. Hair-brianed idea.
The North Korean regime has long enforced strict rules on styling ones hair; most of the barber shops in Pyongyang advertise photos of government-sanctioned haircuts.
Men are encouraged to look like their supreme leader and overall only 28 hairstyles are allowed in the country in total. According to a Time magazine report, married women are instructed to keep their hair-length short, while the single ladies are allowed let loose with longer, curlier locks. Such control of its citizenrys daily life shows how systemic the problems are in the country.
Kim Jong-Un himself is said to be afraid of barbers. He reportedly cuts his own hair (he calls it the ambition cut). I guess that explains his unique appearance.
6. The untrue-man show.
In Seth Rogens film The Interview, they introduce a grocery store that is in the middle of town. It seems to be full of food and attempts to present the image of a well-fed society, but it turns out to be front. In reality, almost everything in North Korea is a front. For example, Kim Jong-il sponsored the creation of a whole fake city at the border of North and South Korea to promote ‘immigration’ by the South Koreans.
Not only did the supreme leader lead the construction of a fake city, but he also built the worlds largest hotel a 105 story pyramid called the Ryugyong, located in Pyongyang. Unfortunately, since almost nobody actually wants to visit North Korea, the 3,000+ room structure remains empty and unused.
7. Dictator or director?
Its one thing for you or I to make home movies. Its quite another when an insane dictator wants to make home movies, and will go to any lengths to get the job done.
Kim Jong-Il was reported to be an obsessive film buff with a collection of 20,000 plus video tapes. He even produced a patriotic 100-part documentary series on the history of the North Korean homeland while somehow also writing a book titled: On the Art of Cinema.
Patriotism aside, Kim Jong-Il also had a passion for western cinema. It was said he had a particular fondness for James Bond films – at least until North Korea was portrayed (in a very negative light) in Die Another Day (2002).
Kim Jong-Ils obsession became frightening when he kidnapped a South Korean director to create acclaimed North Korean films. Nabbing him and his actress wife, Kim Jong-il forced Shin Sang-ok to make films under his reign, including a North Korean version of Godzilla. Luckily, the couple (pictured below) successfully escaped years later.
8. Stadium Arcadium.
North Korea has a MASSIVE stadium. With a capacity of 150,000, the largest stadium in the world is the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium’ in Pyongyang, North Korea. Completed on May 1, 1989, the May 1st Stadium was originally constructed for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students.
Although the stadium is used as a sporting venue, hosting football (soccer) and a few other athletic events, it is more famous as the sight of the annual mass games. This massive gymnastic and artistic event features over 100,000 participants, and is done to celebrate uniformity and the power of the group in the communist state. May Day Stadium was also the site for the public execution of dissenting generals in the late 1990s.
9.Throw the book at them.
In North Korea, possessing Bibles, watching South Korean movies and distributing pornography may be punishable by death.
In November of 2013, the government executed 80 people in public for watching South Korean movies and owning Bibles. According to one source, women and children were brought into a sports stadium and forced to watch people being shot dead by machine-gun fire. Despite it being illegal, it is estimated that there are 100,000 Christians living in North Korea.
10. Come ride my antique.
In 1974, Kim Il-sung took 1,000 Volvo sedans worth 300M from Sweden to North Korea and never paid for them. They were never returned and are currently still being used.
Tor Rauden Kllstigen, a Swedish photographer and entrepreneur who traveled to North Korea in 2008 says,
Many of the Volvos were put to serve in the small but very present taxi fleet in Pyongyang.I think Ive never been inside such an old car even back home in Sweden. This taxi was very well maintained too, close to mint condition it seemed.
The fact remains that despite the semi-annual reminders of payment by the Swedish risk advisory, North Korea refuses to pay for stealing (rather, scamming) Sweden out of the 1,000 Volvos. North Korea now considers Sweden a US pawn that is manipulated by the imperialists.
11. I heard he doesn’t pee or poo.
Kim Jong-il was apparently born under a double rainbow and his birth caused a new star to appear in the sky; he learned to walk and talk before 6 months and has the ability to control the weather by his moods, according to the official government-released biography of his life.
As part of its propaganda and brain-washing methods, the government elevates its leaders to a godlike status in the minds of the average citizen. School children are taught fantastic and obviously untrue things about their leaders to keep them in awe and fear of the regime.
According to the government of North Korea, the countrys literacy rate is 100% and it boasts that it is on par with the U.S. With the supposed 100% literacy rate, North Korea ranks equally with the U.S., U.K., and champions hundreds of other countries on that front.
According to Asian scholars like Andrei Lankov, this is accomplished by teaching school children how to write the names of President for Eternity Kim, Il-sung and Dear Leader Kim, Jong-il before they can write their own name and that of their parents. Once this is done, the North Korean Government declares the student literate in writing. The authenticity of this information still remains to be proved, however.
13. At least you can see the stars.
A night image of the Korean Peninsula taken by NASA illustrates the sheer isolation and underlying electricity problems in North Korea. Compared to its neighbours South Korea and China, it is completely dark.
Since the defunct Soviet Union stopped supplying power to North Korea in the early 1990s, the country has become entirely energy-bankrupt. Compared to South Korea, where each person consumes 10,162-kilowatt hours of power, the average North Korean uses just 739. Recently released photos from the International Space Station show how North Korea completely blends into the surrounding blackness, other than a couple of small spots of light.
14. A horseless carriage?
Public transportation connecting the main towns is nearly non-existent as citizens need permits to go from one place to another even within the country. Because of this, the streets in North Korea are so empty that children use them as playgrounds and soldiers can be seen hitchhiking on the highways.
In addition to the massive public transport problem, freedom of movement in North Korea is also extremely limited and citizens are rarely allowed to move around freely inside their own country. Cars are strange, foreign things to children and old people that move around on the deserted streets, and often put their lives in danger while crossing the road without looking for oncoming vehicles.
15. Statue of limitations.
There are an estimated 34,000 statues of Kim Il Sung in North Korea one for every 3.5 km, or one for every 750 people. All North Koreans are also required to wear a badge featuring his face as a mark of their loyalty to the founder of the nation.
Wearing the badge on their lapels is a daily ritual for everyone and in a city where people rarely carry expensive or valuable items and credit cards, they are highly prized by pickpockets and thieves. So much so, that each badge can be exchanged on the black market for several hundred NKW
16. You’re a mean one, Mr. Kim.
Border relations between North and South Korea are so tense that when soldiers from the South open the door to the North in the Demilitarized Zone, they hold hands to avoid being physically pulled into the other side.
If that doesnt sound crazy enough, heres something. In 2014, South Korean Christians put up a Christmas tree visible from the North Korean Border. North Korea responded by calling it a “tool for psychological warfare” and threatened to bomb it.
17. Where can IP?
In North Korea, the Internet is limited to a very small circle of the elite (only 1,579 IP addresses exist for a population of 25 million). They also have their own operating system called Red Star where the content is pre-filtered by the state.
Chats, emails, and forum boards are regularly monitored and Internet access in general is only permitted with special authorization and primarily used for government purposes or by foreigners.
18. Wait. Is Weird Al North Korean?
North Korea loves the accordion. In the 1990s, it was made compulsory for all teachers in North Korea to learn how to play the accordion.
The accordion was often called the peoples instrument since it was easy to carry along anywhere. There would be accompanied singing to tunes such as We Have Nothing to Envy in the World, which was a rehash of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
19. Sins of the father.
North Korea follows a three generations of punishment rule, meaning that if one person violated the law or sent to prison, their children, parents and grandparents are sent to work with them.
Anyone found guilty of committing a crime (which could be as little as trying to escape North Korea), is sent to the infamous Kaechon internment camp along with their entire family. The subsequent two generations would be born in the camp and must also live their entire lives in servitude and die there.
20. NK sets unrealistic standards for other dictators.
North Korea likes Photoshop. In 2015, Kim Jong-un hailed the recent test of a submarine-launched missile. However, experts have proven that the images are Photoshopped.
This wasnt the first time North Korea attempted to intimidate the world only to have images proven to be also Photoshopped. In its recent history, North Korean state media released images of hovercrafts coming to the shores. However, the vehicles were shown to be digital mirrors of each other. Other instances of it being used include images where Kim Jong-il stands next to other military generals; he is always made to look at their height despite his obvious smaller stature.
21. Space cadets.
The NADA ‘Space Agency’. Although the United States is considered the mortal enemy of North Korea, the nations creation of a space program had a striking resemblance to its American counterparts (NASA) logo. The one problem? Its acronym was a little off, or fitting based on the programs achievements. Although nada is Spanish, its almost universally used in the Western world in general to mean nothing. Thats exactly what the North Korean Space agency has accomplished: nada.
According to the North Korean Central News Agency, the establishment of the space program begins the fulfillment of Kim Il-sungs and Kim Jong-ils Korea as a space power. With a name like NADA, were sure theyll be able to explore all the nothings of the universe.
22. Happy Jong-uary. Soon it will be Kim-tember.
While most of the worlds calendars are based on the Gregorian calendar, North Koreas is based on, wait for it… the birth of its founder Kim Il-Sung! As a result, the current year in North Korea is 106. Its adoption of the Juche era calendar means that years before 1912 (the year of Kim il-Sungs birth) are used with the Gregorian calendar dates while years past that date use the North Korean Juche Calendar.
For example, 2017 would be Juche 106. The calendar is based on the birth of Kim Il-sung, and therefore everyone born on the date of his death (July 8) is not allowed to celebrate a birthday on that day. The same goes for December 17, the day Kim Jong-il died.
23. Falling short.
The World Food Programme estimates that 6 million of North Korea’s 25 million people are in need of food aid and one-third of children are chronically malnourished or stunted. Analysis of escapees from North Korea shows that those born after the Korean War in the late 1950s were on average about 2 inches shorter than South Koreans. Most North Koreans subsist on corn and kimchi, a pickled cabbage.
24. Those poor women.
North Korea enlists around 2000 attractive women as part of a Pleasure Squad who provide entertainment and sexual services for top officials.
The existence of Kim Jong-ils harems has been known to the South Korean intelligence community. According to the account of a Pleasure Squad defector Mi Hyang, groups of young, attractive women were enlisted regularly to provide entertainment and sexual services to top-level government officials.
25. Kim Jong-Unicorn.
North Korea has discovered unicorns. In 2012, North Korean scientists revealed to the world that unicorns are in fact real. The Korean Central News Agency, the governments propaganda mouthpiece, said scientists reconfirmed the location of the burial site of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of the ancient Korean kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BC-668 AD).
According to the broadcast, the unicorns grave was rediscovered near a temple in the capital Pyongyang, with a rectangular rock engraved with the words Unicorn Lair at its entrance. Further evidence for the unicorns discovery were not revealed. We cant possibly imagine what the reason for that could be.
26. Lil’ Kim.
Kim Jong-Un is frequently referred to as the youngest head of state on earth, but nobody actually knows when he was born.
The North Korean government officially claims that the dear leader was born in 1982, but that has been disputed. He may have been born either in 1983 or (fittingly) 1984.
27. Thread the needle.
Kim Jong-Un was his fathers youngest son, so his rise to power is a little surprising.
His older brother Kim Jong-Nam was thought to be the likely successor, but he fell out of favour in 2001 after being arrested in Japan. For using a fake passport. On his way to Tokyo Disneyland. (No, seriously.)
Kim Jong-Nam was recently murdered in a Malaysian airport by two women who stabbed him with poisoned needles
28. Dennis, the menace.
Kim Jong-Un has struck up an unlikely friendship with former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who has visited North Korea and partied with the leader several times.
According to Rodman, Kim has his own private island lair. Rodman describes it as being like Hawaii or Ibiza, but hes the only one who lives there.
Rodman also partied with Kim on his 400-foot yacht, which is essentially a cruise ship.
According to Rodman, the dictator keeps a 13-piece band of pretty girls with violins on hand for his personal amusement. He and his entourage like to sing along while they play hits from the 80s.
29. Under fire.
North Korea seems to have a taste for exotic methods of execution.
For example, Kim Jong-Un allegedly had one of his ministers killed with a flamethrower. The dictator has also been known to make an example of his enemies by executing them with anti-aircraft guns. Satellite images have shown what appear to be public execution grounds covered in burn marks consistent with anti-aircraft fire.
30. Kim Jong-Huh?
Although he has a massive cult of personality now, Kim Jong-Un was hardly ever seen in public before he came to power.
In fact, there was only one known picture of him before he was announced as his fathers successor in 2009. His identity in the photo had to be confirmed by a forensic facial recognition laboratory.
31. Put it in the air.
North Korea is a famously restrictive country. Citizens don’t have freedom of speech, movement, the right to a fair trial, or any of the other liberties we take for granted. But North Koreans do have one freedom most of us don’t.
North Korea smokes weed everyday. Distribution, possession and consumption of cannabis is legal in North Korea, and in fact, is recommended as a healthier alternative to tobacco.
According to Sokeel Park, the director of research and strategy at Liberty In North Korea, cannabis grown wildly in North Korea is even sold abroad by government agencies to earn foreign currency. There is no stigma attached to the drug, and it isn’t fetishized as much as it is in the west.
32. Wouldn’t hurt a fly.
But Kim isnt all bad. There were reports he had one of his ex-girlfriends killed, but surprisingly she appeared on North Korean television in 2014, very much alive.
What a nice guy.
33. Mommy issues.
Kim Jong-Uns mother was part Japanese. North Koreans still regard the Japanese as natural enemies, so her identity is actually a state secret in North Korea.
She is only ever referred to by her ridiculous titles, such as The Respected Mother Who Is The Most Faithful And Loyal Subject To the Dear Leader Comrade Supreme Commander.