50 Important Facts About North Korea

Last updated on January 22nd, 2022

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It has an area of 120,538 square km. Pyongyang is its capital and largest city. Korean is the official language of North Korea. Its official currency is North Korean won (₩) (KPW). Its three bordering countries are China, Russia, and South Korea. The inhabitants or natives of this county are called North Korean or Korean.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea. Below are 50 important facts about North Korea, its uniqueness, history, economy, education, government, leaders, and strategies.

50 Important facts about North Korea

1. Interestingly, you can smoke Marijuana legally in North Korea. It is not even classified as a drug in the country.

Well-known American spy ships USS Pueblo AGER-2 docked on the Potong River.
Well-known American spy ships USS Pueblo AGER-2 docked on the Potong River.

2. On January 23, 1968, North Korea captured “USS Pueblo (AGER-2),” a Banner-class environmental research ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy. It is the world’s only nation to capture and retain a U.S. Navy ship to date.

3. North Korea does not use the Gregorian calendar, which is also known as the Western calendar and the Christian calendar. They have their own calendar in place. The Juche calendar was introduced in 1997 and is based on Kim Il-Sung’s date of birth: April 15, 1912. The year 2015 was the 104th year, as per their Juche calendar.

Flag of North Korea

Flag of North Korea
The National flag of North Korea. Source – CIA

4. The North Korean city of Pyongyang has the world’s largest stadium, boasting a seating capacity of 150,000. This stadium is used for football, athletics and mass games.

First of May Day Stadium fits an incredible 150000 people.
First of May Day Stadium fits an incredible 150000 people and hosts the mass games in North Korea.

5. Surprisingly, haircuts are also approved by the supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un, in North Korea. There are only 28 styles of approved haircuts from which to choose in North Korea. Men can choose from 10 different styles, while women have 18 different options.

6. History tells us that only two South Koreans have moved to North Korea, while more than 23,000 North Koreans have defected to the south over the course of the last 60 years.

7. Kim Il-Sung scammed Sweden out of 1,000 Volvo 144 sedans in 1974, and to date has never made the payment.

8. They have their own computer operating system: North Koreans use “Red Star OS,” which is offered in only the Korean language.

North Korea on the map

9. Death penalties can be levied for distributing pornography, watching South Korean movies and possessing Bibles.

10. “NADA” is North Korea’s space agency. If you translate it into Spanish, it means “nothing.,”

About: what’s legal and illegal, politics, people, the North Korean army, poverty, and TV channels in the country

11. It is illegal to wear jeans in North Korea.

12. There is only one candidate to vote for in the North Korean elections, which take place every five years.

13. On the morning of September 21, 1953, “No Kum-Sok” was the first pilot to defect with an operational aircraft from North Korea to South Korea. He was later rewarded with $100,000 offered by Operation Moolah.

14. It is a ritual to not celebrate birthdays on July 8 and December 17. Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il died on these dates.

15. It still operates under the rules of a dead leader. And it is the world’s only necrocracy.

16. On average, North Koreans are shorter than South Koreans by one to three inches.

17. North Korea has only three TV channels. Two of these only broadcast during the weekends. South Korean soap operas are smuggled in for entertainment.

18. Pyongyang is only for elite groups of people. Only loyal, trustworthy and healthy citizens can live there.

19. To this day in North Korea, about 12 million people suffer from poverty and lack of basic human needs.

20. North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world. It is estimated by the U.S. State Department that they have an active-duty military force of up to 1.2 million personnel.

About: Kim Jong-II, invasion tunnels, Michael Jordan and Kim Jong-Un, life in general, the internet, punishment, space program, propaganda city and food

21. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il never flew on an airplane. He was reportedly so afraid of flying that the only way he would travel is in custom-armored trains specifically built for him.

22. Four invasion tunnels have been found so far, leading from North Korea to South Korea. It is believed that there are 20 more tunnels of this kind. It is estimated that any one of these tunnels could allow rapid movement of at least 30,000 soldiers. Remember: North Korean soldiers are highly trained and are frighteningly deadly. You can just estimate the amount of damage these troops could do in the event of a successful invasion of the southern land.

23. Michael Jordan is the hero of the basketball-fascinated, newest face of North Korean leadership: Kim Jong-Un. He (Kim Jong-Un) attended boarding school in Switzerland, and was not much interested in studies, as reported by his fellow classmates.

24. Life in North Korea is completely isolated from the other parts of the world. Their citizens have limited access to television, radio and other forms of communication and media information. Their average earnings are less than $5.00 per month. They are always under a threat of being poisoned for violating any of the rules laid out by the dictators.

25. Government permission is required to own a computer in North Korea.

26. They have their own intranet – “Kwangmyong.” It was opened in 2000 and includes a browser, email, news and search capabilities. They do not have the open internet as it exists in other parts of the world. Most things there are restricted.

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