The 10 Bizarre Things You Probably Didn’t Know About North Korea
North Korea may appear anomalous to people in America, but how many of us really know what it’s like there? Sure we hear Kim Jong-un say some pretty wild things from time to time, threatening our freedom and even talking about dropping an N-bomb here and there (nuclear bomb).
But the truth is that none of this is even intimidating. In fact it’s kind of adorable. This is a leader who just wants to be like his daddy, but we can tell from a mile away that he is a decent man, aside from the whole starving his people and all.
Despite his jolly exterior, the laws he enacts on his citizens are quite ridiculous I might add. The laws in tact and the propaganda they are fed is over-the-top and frankly quite hilarious.
But despite the strange kind of connotations we get from this mysterious country, upon further review it actually sounds pretty badass. In fact some of the laws, and amenities they have, sound straight poppin’. Don’t believe us? Just watch.
They had the world’s tallest hotel for 20 years, but it was completely empty
North Korea was home to the world’s tallest hotel until the end of the 80s. The only thing, however, was that it didn’t exactly have any vacant rooms. That’s because it’s completely empty.
But at 105 floors, and being shaped like a pyramid, it was a marvel to behold. That’s what it’s all about in North Korea. Looking strong with absolutely no substance behind it. Now someone please explain why it cost $750 million to build. Horrible return on investment. The building is now “irreparable.”
They control what hairstyles their citizens can wear
The lovely women of North Korea get to choose between the eighteen hairstyles, including many that seem straight out of the 80s and 90s, which are fitting, as it matches the graphic capabilities of the video threatening the United States, put out by North Korea earlier this year.
Married women tend to don the shorter hairdos, while younger women go for more playful hairstyles, such as braids and longer, wavy hair. What a country! They have their own officially sanctioned hairstyles. For men it’s worse. They get only ten to choose from.
Citizens pretty much can’t go on to the internet
The world wide web is inaccessible to communist North Korea, with the exception of government authorities. Anyone with access to a computer can only reach one domestic network, Kwangmyong. North Korea goes as far as making journalists turn off their mobile phones at the border, but as of this year they allow for terrible 3G service for visitors.
They rank their citizens on a scale of 51 “social categories”
Similar to the caste system, North Korea’s “Songbun” system is used to determine whether an individual is trusted with national responsibilities, granted opportunities or even given adequate food. This system affects the entire social system and determines whether a person is eligible to join the Workers’ Party of Korea.
In 2012, North Korean archaeologists announced they found the remains of a unicorn
In late 2012, North Korea made a major announcement. They apparently discovered a mythical unicorn lair, which belonged to none other than King Tongmyong. What? The DPRK Academy released this statement:
“A rectangular rock carved with words ‘Unicorn Lair’ stands in front of the lair. The carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392),” the report said.
“The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.”
They have the world’s largest stadium, which seats 150,000 people
North Korea may suck at sports, but at least they have the biggest stadium to be trash in. The May Day Stadium comfortably seats 150,000 people. Too bad all of those people are there against their own will.
The arena itself is an amazing feat and was finished in 1989. To this day it is heavily used and they even do crazy designs with the seats as pictured above. Neat-o!
It’s the year 102 in North Korea, not 2013
You already know North Korea doesn’t operate on the same schedule as the rest of the world. That’s why they have this thing called the Juche Calender. And according to that, it is currently the year 102. Introduced in 1997, this is what you will find yourself on if you ever visit the motherland.
They’re actually not even a communist state anymore
In a 2009 attempt to divest their communist reputation, they excluded all terms and legalities related to Communism and replaced it with “Juche”. The state ideology replaced Marxism-Leninism when the country adopted its new constitution in 1972.
It is the only country in the world to have a captured U.S. Navy ship
The North Koreans tested their strength in 1968 when they commandeered an electronic intelligence ship after surrounding the vessel with sub chasers and torpedo boats with jets overhead. While North Korea released propaganda portraying fair treatment, the reality was that the crew endured torture and starvation for nearly one year.
Weed is legal!
What a trade off. Sure you have pretty much all of your freedom restricted, but at least you can smoke wild piff. That’s right. Weed is legal in North Korea. Who would have thunk it?! Many of the locals smoke it daily as it isn’t considered a drug at all.
Maybe that’s why the people don’t care about not being able to go on the internet. They’re just all baked out of their minds. Salud!