North Korea: Strange facts from the weirdest country on Earth

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4 mins
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ExpressVPN answers the DPRK questions that you’ve been dying to ask. And some that you definitely haven’t.

Can you add to the FAQ? Leave your favorite North Korean tidbits in the comments and we’ll add them to the list. Let’s try and get the biggest collection of North Korea facts on the Internet!

Speaking of which…

1. Does North Korea Have the Internet?

It certainly does! And it’s surprisingly fast, top speeds are as much as 2.5gbit/s. Though the world wide web is mostly closed off to North Korean citizens, there is a domestic-only network known as Kwangmyong. Incredibly, there were only 1,024 IP addresses in North Korea as recently as 2014.

2. How Big Is the North Korean Military?

MASSIVE! As of 2013, the North Korean military has at least 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel, making it the largest military organization on Earth. A staggering 40% of the population are in the military.

North Korea is the only nation on the planet to have a US navy ship in custody. The USS Pueblo has been there since 1968.

3. How Far behind the West Is North Korea?

Exactly 1,911 years. The year in the DPRK is 105, based on the Juche calendar, which started with the birth of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder.

4. Will I Get in Trouble in the DPRK?

It’s swings and roundabouts. You might get a death sentence for watching Netflix. But on the other hand, Marijuana is not classified as a drug in North Korea.

5. Where Is the Largest Stadium in the World?

That would be North Korea. The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium seats 150,000 people.

6. Do Unicorns Exist?

Yes. In 2012, North Korean archeologists brought the notion of Western science to its knees, as they announced the discovery of an ancient Unicorn lair.

Invisible unicorn
A herd of Unicorns, as seen by the West.

7. Can I Get My Hair Cut in North Korea?

Don’t be ridiculous, of course you can! But not if you want one of those heinous ‘capitalist’ haircuts. Until last year there was a, frankly, decadent 28 state-approved haircuts. But who really wants so much choice? In November, 2015, The Dear North Korean Leader wisely and bravely ordered all the men to copy his own perfect cut. And what a spectacular haircut it is.

8. Can I Own a Car in North Korea?

Contrary to other reports, yes, you can have a car! North Korea even has its own car manufacturer, Pyeonghwa Motors. They only sell about 400 cars per year, though, as no one can afford them.

Kim Jong-Un learned to drive at just three years old! Incredible!

9. Will North Korea Ever Be Democratic?

What are you talking about? It already is! There are elections every five years*. Voting is mandatory and the turnout is always very close to 100%.

*Only one name is on the ballot card.

10. Why Does North Korea Isolate Itself from the Rest of the World?

More Western lies! As recently as 2013, North Korea reached out to its southern neighbors. It was a series of rambling threats, admittedly. And they did send it by fax.

11. Can I Go on a Roller Coaster in North Korea?

Wikipedia claims there are at least seven amusement parks in North Korea. Though why would you bother when you could visit the country’s most popular tourist attraction instead? The dead body of Kim Jong-Il.

12. Will I Understand the language?

Why would you need to? The glorious Pyongyang Foreign Languages Publishing House majestically translates North Korean texts into foreign languages, for your entertainment.

Good luck keeping up with the DPRK citizens, though. North Korea has a staggering 100% literacy rate.

13. Kijong-Dong Looks Nice, Can I Visit It?

Kijong-Dong is a lovely village situated in the demilitarized zone, near the border with South Korea. But you can’t visit, because it’s not real. Observations from the south confirm that no one actually lives there, and it’s suspected the ghost town was built to encourage Southern defectors into the North.

Hilariously, South Korea put up a massive 320-foot flag pole on their side of the border, in a town called Tae Sung Dong. North Korea replied by putting up a 525-foot flag pole in Kijong-Dong.

A Tae Sung Dong Kijong-Dong Kim Jong ding dong, if you will.

14. How Should We Respond to North Korea’s Nuclear Tests?

Early in 2016, North Korea decided to show off its military might by test-firing a nuclear bomb. This raised a few eyebrows around the world. South Korea went one further, by raising the volume too.

In a brutal propaganda exercise, South Korea lined up speakers at the border and blasted out music from Seoul’s foremost boy bands. War can be very cruel.

The Curious Fascination with North Korea

These are our favorite facts about the most secretive nation on the planet, but there are plenty more oddities regarding North Korea. The DPRK remains a source of much entertainment for the West, perhaps due to how little we really know about the place. Or maybe it’s because of the outlandish Kim Jong-Un stories that often filter through to our capitalist-pig news providers.

North Korea Wierdness
We want the truth! We can handle the truth!

What’s Your Favorite North Korean Fact? Help Us Build the Definitive DPRK FAQ!

Leave your weirdest North Korea facts in the comments and we’ll add the best ones to the list. Together, we can unravel the mysteries of the strangest nation on the planet.

Featured image: viperagp + Steinar / Dollar Photo Club
No Unicorns: igor / Dollar Photo Club
Facts: enterlinedesign / Dollar Photo Club

Johnny 5 is the founding editor of the blog and writes about pressing technology issues. From important cat privacy stories to governments and corporations that overstep their boundaries, Johnny covers it all.