20 Bizarre Things In North Korea That’ll Make You Thank Your Stars You Weren’t Born There

North Korea is a bizarre country to say the least.

There are weird rules and systems in the country which believes the deceased founder Kim Il-sung still rules the regime in spirit form. Here are 20 of them.

1. The North Korean calendar is based on its founder’s date of birth

It may be the 21st century for the rest of the world but for people in North Korea, it’s still the 106th Juche year. The North Korean Juche calendar begins from April 15, 1912, the date of birth of its founder Kim Il-Sung.

Source: wikipedia.org

2. It has only 3 TV channels

With everything under scrutiny, it’s quite obvious that the North Korean regime keeps its media on a tight leash. There are only 3 television channels to choose from, with all programs controlled by the government.

3. Power cut every night

You know how occasional power cuts are so annoying. Now imagine the state of North Koreans whose entire country goes dark at night. It’s apparently due to the energy crisis in the state that it can’t supply sufficient electricity to homes. This was revealed after a photo of North Korea taken from space went viral.

4. Elections with only one candidate to choose from

With the country’s totalitarian regime and the same family ruling since 1948, it’s rather funny that the elections are held every year. The voters have only one option to choose from. Whether it’s the election for a mayor, provincial governors, or local assemblies, there is only one candidate on the ballot in each district.

What a farce!

Source: time.com

5. Parents have to provide desks & chairs for their kids

Parents who send their kids to school are required to provide their own desks and chairs. Some students are also forced to do laborious tasks for the government, such as collecting discarded material.

Source: bbc.com

6. The 3-generation punishment rule

The three-generation punishment rule is a horrifying reality of the country which can’t stand any criticism from its citizens. If one person commits a crime, his entire bloodline, including the grandparents, parents and children, are sent to prison.

Source: borgenmagazine.com

7. You might be held captive for being creative 

It’s one of the popular stories that dictator Kim Jong-il kidnapped a film director, Shin Sang-ok and his wife, actor Choi Eun-hee, in 1978 to inject creativity in North Korean films. Later in 1986, after being held against their will for almost a decade, the couple gradually earned the dictator’s trust and escaped during a trip to Austria where they were promoting North Korean films.

8. A propaganda village.

Like so many other propaganda activities, there also exists a “propaganda village” on the border of North and South Korea. In 1953, the Korean Demilitarized Zone was established to end the war and serve as a buffer zone between the two countries. On this border, lies Kijong-dong, the village which boasts of the economic success of North Korea.

But people who’ve observed the village from South Korea have said that this village is just a sham with no one living there and the occasional sightings of the workers who sweep the streets. It’s believed to be a fake show of development built to attract South Korean defectors and intimidate South Korea.

Source: desertedplaces.blogspot.com

9. North Koreans can visit only 28 websites. 

North Korean citizens are only allowed to browse 28 websites on the internet. Their intranet, which is called “Kwangmyong” or Bright, through which internet is accessed, is free to use for those with access to a computer. The computers, however, are very expensive and one needs prior permission from the government to buy one!

Source: motherboard.vice.com

10. They’ve preserved the dead body of Kim Jong-Il

The North Korean regime has left no stone unturned to prove themselves the sole proprietor of the country. The country has preserved the dead body of North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-Il in a glass tomb and it’s open for tourists to view. And they are required to bow down at his feet and arms.

11. Blue jeans are banned in the country

North Korea sees blue jeans as a symbol of US imperialism and hence, has banned it in the country.

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