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Friday, 7 October 2016

North Korea

HISTORY 

North Korea was founded on September 9, 1948 after Korea had been freed from Japanese occupation. The socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea, backed by the Soviet Union was established in the north half of the peninsula. The U.S. set up a democracy in the southern half.

One of the guerrilla leaders during the Japanese occupation, the communist Kim Il-sung, became premier.

The flag of North Korea was adopted on September 8, 1948. The prominent red star is a universal symbol of communism, the red stripe expresses revolutionary traditions. The two blue stripes stand for sovereignty, peace and friendship. The white stripes symbolize purity.



In 1950 North Korea, seeking unification of the Korean peninsula, launched a large scale invasion of South Korea. After three years fighting the Korean War ended in stalemate with no land lost or gained.

North Korea became a totalitarian dictatorship and an elaborate cult of personality developed around Kim Il-sung and his successors.

North Korea built a fake village with empty buildings lit by automatic timers in the 1950s in an effort to lure South Koreans to defect across the border.

North Koreans born after the Korean War are about two inches shorter than South Koreans on average.

On August 31, 1998 North Korea reportedly launched Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1, its first satellite.

North Korea created “Pyongyang Time” on August 15, 2015, moving its clocks 30 minutes back making it 8.5 hours ahead of GMT.

POLITICS 

North Korea is the world’s only necrocracy—the only government that still operates under the rules of a former, dead leader.

North Koreans bowing in front of statues of Kim Il-sung (left) and Kim Jong-il

North Korea holds elections every five years. All seats are won by the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland. According to official reports, turnout is near 100%, and approval of the Democratic Front's candidates is unanimous or nearly so.

A North Korean official who was also Kim Jong Un's uncle was executed for clapping half-heartedly when Kim was elected.

MILITARY 

North Korea uses a fax machine to send threats to South Korea.

North Korea has the fourth largest army, the largest special forces, And the largest submarine fleet in the world.

Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers at Panmunjom. By David Stanley from Nanaimo, Canada 

SOCIETY 

The official North Korean newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, was first published under the name Chongro on November 1, 1945.

The tallest unoccupied skyscraper in the world is 330m (1,082ft), 105 storeys tall and is in Pyongyang, North Korea. Construction of the Ryugyong Hotel (dubbed the Hotel of Doom) began in 1987 under Kim Il-Sung, but was halted five years later. It was then slated to open it in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung’s birth, but this was then cancelled.

An Ohio man was detained in North Korea for nearly six months for leaving a Bible at a nightclub.

In North Korea, people don't celebrate birthdays on July 8 and December 17, since those are the dates that Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il died.

North Koreans born since the 1950s are on average two inches shorter than South Koreans.

ECONOMY 

North Korean propaganda claims that North Korea is the world's only tax-free country. The North Korean state, however, still collects revenue from its citizens in the form of hidden taxation through various sales taxes.

The Korean Peninsula at night. North Korea is almost completely dark, the bright spot is Pyongyang

North Korea doesn't make much from tourism – about 2,500 people visit a year.

Chinese tourists taking boat tours in North Korea purchase small bags of bread and biscuits and throw them on shore for North Koreans to pick up and eat, like at a zoo.

North Korea generates about $2 billion a year by forcing its poorest citizens to work as slaves in other countries.

North Korea is sitting on 6-10 trillion dollars worth of minerals it can't access due to lack of technology and equipment.

CULTURE

In North Korea viewing pornography or reading the Bible are each punishable by death. Generally the method is execution by firing squad.

North Korea finally got its first pizzeria in 2009, thanks to Kim Jong-il’s obsession with pizza.

The Chollima, a mythical winged horse, is the national animal of North Korea.

North Korea is the only country where marijuana is 100% legal to grow, sell, possess and use.

Source Daily Express

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