Infamous for its secrecy and long-running, institutionalized family dictatorship, North Korea is currently ruled by Kim Jong Un, who lives in the lap of over-the-top luxury, while many of his people, apparently, starve. It's illegal for citizens of North Korea to leave the country and the state has always been very reluctant to let outsiders in! Every now and then, however, a few select journalists are granted entry to the notoriously paranoid state. They are chaperoned all the time, yet bits of information, as well as the odd photograph, do eventually make their way out into the world's public domain. Just like the 13 bizarre facts we've listed below! They're bound to shock you! Take a look!
North Korea has its own OS!
It's called 'Red Star OS' and the interface is made to look like the 'Mac OS', because Kim Jong Un likes it, yet, it's actually a variant of 'Linux'. The country designed it so that authorities could better monitor the 'web behavior' of the citizens. Bizarre, considering hardly any of them are allowed the net, anyway!
North Korean election papers have only one name on the ballot to choose from!
What's the point of holding so-called 'democratic' elections every four years when the only party that appears on the ballot is the ruling 'Worker's Party'? Such a sham!
North Korea is home to the world's crappiest theme park.
'Mangyongdae Funfair' is so run down! Only the merry-go-round, train ride and rollercoaster actually function. Whenever visitors are about, the locals are basically forced to attend, to make it seem busier than it really is!
The ruling party tried to entice South Koreans over with a 'false village'!
'Kijong-dong' is a village built by the North Koreans, right on the border with South Korea. Its purpose was to show South Koreans what conditions would be like if they moved to North Korea. Yet, the village's buildings have no glass in the window frames, the electricity is run on a timer and, most tellingly, the village has no actual permanent residents.
Both Kim Jong Un and his father spent millions on luxury goods.
Since assuming power, Kim Jong-Un has spent $640 million on luxury cars! He's also built a 1,000 seat movie theater for his mates. Both he and his father have spent so much with little regard for their people, who are mostly dirt poor.
In 2013, Kim Jong-Un had his own uncle executed!
Kim's uncle was declared 'worse than a dog' when he was accused of treason, following the succession. Jang Song-thaeck was executed, most likely by a firing squad after he was, apparently, found guilty of living a decadent capitalist lifestyle. The irony, huh?
The world's largest wrestling event ever was held in North Korea.
The 'Rungrado 1st of May' stadium was host to a round between Ric Flair and Antonio Inoki, in 1995. Muhammad Ali attended the event, held in the 150,000 seat stadium. Participants described the experience as 'intimidating'.
North Korea is home to the largest stadium in the world!
Following the wrestling match, the 'Rungrado 1st of May' stadium, Pyongyang, is the largest in the world. It can hold 150,000 people.
North Korea is the world's only necrocracy…
A necrocracy is a state governed by a dead person. North Korea qualifies, as Kim Il-sung, now dead, is still president of the nation.
North Korean citizens aren't allowed to celebrate their birthday if it happens to fall on July 8th or December 17th!
These are the dates that former leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il died. It is believed that North Korean people born on these days are forced to celebrate a day after.
The North Korean military threatened South Korea via a fax machine!
In 2013, there was a rally in South Korea opposing Kim Jong-un's regime. The state of North Korea responded by sending Seoul a fax, stating they would mercilessly attack 'without any notice'. North Korea's method of sending the threat was subject to ridicule when reported in the world's media.
A North Korean defense minister was executed with an anti air craft gun!
Hyon Yong Choi was 'pulverized' with this unusual choice of weapon, after being accused of 'disrespectful behavior' towards Kim Jong-un.
North Korea's space program is known by the initials NADA.
Yes, that is the Spanish word for 'nothing'!