1. A Closed and Secrecy-Obsessed Nation?
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea, is a country with a population of over 25 million people and a literacy rate of over 99%. It is also home to the fifth largest military force in the world, with over 1.2 million active personnel. North Korea is a highly militarized nation, with a large portion of its GDP devoted to military spending. Despite its reputation for being a closed and secretive nation, North Korea has made strides in recent years to open up to the world and improve its economy.
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2. Unique Triumvirate of Leaders
North Korea is unique in that it has no single 'head of state.' Instead, the nation is governed by a triumvirate of leaders: the head of the government, the head of the military, and the chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. This system was established after the death of the nation's only leader, Kim il-sung, and is designed to ensure that his legacy and vision for the country will continue to be upheld.
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3. North Korea Still at War
The Korean War, fought between North and South Korea between 1950 and 1953, is still an unresolved conflict. Despite the three-year war coming to an end, no peace treaty has ever been signed, leaving the two countries officially at war with each other to this day. This conflict has had a lasting impact on the region, with the two countries still divided by the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that was established in 1953.
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4. North Korea's Strict Rule: Keep Kim Il-sung's Portrait Safe
In North Korea, the government has a strict rule that requires the portrait of their great leader, Kim Il-sung, to be rescued in the event of a fire, flood, or earthquake. This is due to the fact that 1912, the first year in their calendar, marks the year of Kim Il-sung's birth. As a result, the portrait of Kim Il-sung is held in high regard and is seen as a symbol of national pride.
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5. Female traffic police in North Korea oversee crossroads
In North Korea, female traffic police are responsible for overseeing the crossroads, as traffic lights are rarely used due to the country's lack of power. This is a stark contrast to other countries, where traffic lights are a common sight at intersections. The lack of power in North Korea means that the female traffic police must be vigilant in ensuring the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike.
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6. Christians Face Extreme Persecution
In North Korea, Christians are subject to extreme persecution and discrimination. The government has been known to imprison and even execute those who practice Christianity, and it is illegal to own a Bible or to hold any kind of religious gathering. Christians are also denied access to education and employment opportunities, and are often subject to surveillance and harassment. Despite this, there are still an estimated 300,000 Christians in North Korea, many of whom practice their faith in secret.
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7. North Korea's Strict Hair Regulations
In North Korea, the government strictly regulates the hairstyles of its citizens, allowing only a handful of approved styles. Men are required to keep their hair short, while women are allowed to have slightly longer hair, but must still keep it within the confines of the approved styles. This is a reflection of the authoritarian nature of the North Korean government, which seeks to control even the most minor aspects of its citizens' lives.
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8. Dogs Not Welcomed in North Korea
In the capital city of Pyongyang, North Korea, pet ownership is strictly prohibited. Not even the most beloved of canine companions are allowed in the city, making it a unique place in the world where dogs are not welcome. This is a stark contrast to many other cities around the world, where dogs are often seen as beloved members of the family. The ban on dogs in Pyongyang is a reflection of the country's strict laws and regulations, which are designed to maintain order and control.
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9. North Korea's Radio: Const. Gov't Propaganda
In North Korea, radio programs are a constant source of government propaganda that cannot be turned off. This propaganda is used to control the population and spread the government's message, and is broadcasted throughout the country on a daily basis. It is a powerful tool for the government to influence the public's opinion and shape their beliefs.
10. North Korea's Strict Internet Regulations
. In North Korea, the use of the internet and cell phones is strictly prohibited for the majority of the population. Only a select few are allowed access to the internet, and even then, they are only able to visit government-approved websites. This means that the citizens of North Korea are unable to access the same information and resources that people in other countries can, severely limiting their ability to stay informed and connected with the rest of the world.
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