We all know by now, either through interactions with President Donald Trump or the consistent attention around the country, North Korea is… an interesting place. It’s certainly different than any other country that we know about. It’s as though they live in their own world, they have different rules, they are accustomed to a completely different culture and they, for the most part, hate Americans. The laws in North Korea seem to go above and beyond any other system that we have seen and to top it off, their leader Kim Jung-un swears that it is the best way to live. Although his feud with the American President sometimes makes North Korea’s leader look more level-headed to some people; we have to admit, it makes society more thankful that they live in a country that allows freedom of almost anything. We aren’t restricted with what we can say, or do, or even watch. In some cases, we are even encouraged to get out there and make the world a better place; either by voting or fighting for what we believe is right. In North Korea, the best possible thing their citizens can do is stay quiet and do what they are told. Actually, as long as they follow what Kim Jung-Un says is the law, they will be fine. Only, those laws are… unorthodox. Such things as no one else in the country can have the name Kim (for obvious reasons), technology is a no no and even international phone calls are frowned upon. What will they come up with next?
15. Three Generations Of Punishment
In North Korea there is such thing as a “three generations of punishment”; and the only reason why the world knows about this law is that of one man. Shin Dong-Hyuk was born in a North Korea prison camp called Camp 14. There are approximately 150,000 people doing hard labor and “on the brink of starvation” in the hidden camp. The law goes as follows: if your family member is seen as a traitor or commits a crime that is considered disloyal, the whole family gets in trouble. Grandparents, parents, and children are all considered disloyal, and must be punished as well. Dong-Hyuk is reportedly one of the only people to ESCAPE this prison and be able to tell his story. He did an interview with Anderson Cooper which revealed a few crazy things, like he didn’t know America existed and that the world is round.
14. Officially Sanctioned Haircuts Of North Korea
North Korea not only has control over their citizen’s television and driving habits, they also have control over how their hair style. What in the world is going on here? There is a total of 28 government approved hairstyles; 18 for women and 10 for men. It’s great that they provided women with more hairstyles knowing that women need a variety. However, the hairstyles are basic AF and not cute at all. They aren’t the most flattering and it’s honestly really weird to see that they all kind of look alike. They also look like they were created in the 80s and haven’t been updated since then. How can the government get away with telling their citizens how to style their own hair that grows out of their own head?
13. Permission To Live In The Capital
The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang. There are about $2.5 million people living there. This is shocking because, in order to live there, you have to get permission from the government. Yes, they can tell you by looking at your income, your level of education and your usefulness if you are qualified to live in Pyongyang. It’s a shock that they have as many people as they do living there because one would have to assume (based on other questionable things about the country), that they would be extremely picky about who stays and who goes. Are the other cities in North Korea as nice as Pyongyang? Probably not a lot of lower income people live in surrounding cities, and they only receive the bare minimum when it comes to maintenance.
12. Only A Handful Of People Can Use The Internet
In places like Canada, the US, and the UK, it’s typical for people to have access to the internet and TV and all the fun that technology provides. But, as you could have guessed, in North Korea, it’s a freaking luxury. Apparently, the only people who have access to such luxuries as the internet are the leader Kim Jong-Un of course, and some citizens who have a profession that must use computers to function. Here’s the kicker, they literally have 28 websites that are accessible, and most of them are focused on keeping the citizens up to date on what their leader is doing. The rest include a food site that only has traditional Korean food recipes, and any arts and culture going on in the city. However, all the sites are very low quality.
11. Only Certain People Can Drive
In North Korea, only males can drive. Mostly only male government officials can drive. This has allowed for only 1 in every 100 people to own a car. While this is great for people who are in a rush to get somewhere, it’s also very weird. A few years ago, there was a picture circulating on the internet that showed the extremely bare streets of North Korea. Just like most of their laws, there isn’t really a GOOD reason for why this is a law. The country seems pretty obsessed with their citizens trying to leave their country. But let’s be honest, not even a car would get them far enough away from the country. What’s the harm in allowing everyone to own a car? We have to assume that this is because many of them don’t even make a good enough wage to purchase a car. The upside is that riding a bike and walking everywhere is super healthy.
10. Can’t Make International Calls
Another luxury in North Korea is having a phone. In the US and other countries, we have so many phones that phone companies rival one another. But in North Korea, they don’t even have the most basic of cell phones. That being said, they do have land lines that are heavily monitored, and they have a number of rules to go along with using the phone. One of those rules is no international phone calls. Back in 2007, a man was supposedly shot and killed for making more than one international phone call. While we agree it’s suspicious that he was constantly making international phone calls, we don’t agree that you should be killed for it. Whatever happen to interrogations? Like damn, they just went straight for the kill. To make the situation more disturbing, he was killed in front of 150,000 people.
9. You REALLY Pay For Your Kids Education
If you want to and can afford to send your children to school, get ready to pay the big bucks. Every kid that goes to school, the parents are responsible for paying for not only a uniform but the desk, the chair, utensils, notebooks and everything else that other schools are supplied with already. Now, we know this is petty, but what are the chances that the kids get to take that desk with them when they graduate? For some reason, we feel like the desk stays put and just sit in a room of some kind forcing another new student to buy a brand new desk. In addition to paying for supplies, the parents also have to pay a tuition. Keep in mind this isn’t like University of College, this is high school we’re talking about.
8. Stay Away From The Bible
The Bible in North Korea is a symbol of western culture; and what do they do with western culture? They ban it. The Bible is not allowed in the country at all, and anyone caught with a Bible is in for a world of trouble. The higher ups live in fear that the Bible will influence their citizens in a negative way, and additionally it has the power to convert them to a religion that isn’t respected in North Korea. They take this law very seriously. A woman once tested her luck. She was caught distributing the Bible and preaching the word of the Lord. Like many people who disobey the rules, she was executed. North Korea is not the place to be testing your luck people.
7. Apple? What’s Apple?
There are certain brands that are not allowed at any cost to distribute their brands in North Korea. Those brands are Apple, Microsoft and Sony there hasn’t been a real explanation why these brands are banned. However, one can assume it’s because they are just so American that Kim Jong-Un wants nothing to do with them. In addition, North Korean citizens lack a lot of information on the topic of technology. They are so isolated, they don’t even know what they are missing. Chances are they wouldn’t be able to afford them even if they were sold in North Korea. The country prides themselves on how technologically advanced, they are but truthfully how advanced can you be if your country lacks smartphones and the cool AF stuff they can do?
6. No Twilight Allowed
Just like the Bible, western literature is unacceptable in North Korea. While there is a great chance that the citizens are not missing out on Edward Cullen and Bella’s trivial love story, what’s even more annoying to the leaders of North Korea is literature ABOUT North Korea. If for some crazy reason, a tourist chooses North Korea as their travel destination they have to surrender all literature about the country. So, things like guide books, maps, if you have an app about North Korea that has to go as well. Please don’t be one of those people who believe they can sneak it past security check in the airport because you will get caught. There is a thorough check of anything that is considered contraband and while it’s a nightmare for you, they are just doing the job they were assigned.
5. TV Is Not Enjoyable
TV is one of the western cultures favorite past times. In fact, even more so lately, with the some of the best TV shows on television in a while, it’s hard to imagine not tuning in on a relaxing night. In North Korea it’s slightly different, just slightly that is, there are only 3 channels. Those channels usually revolve around what the leader has done that day, and every once in a while, they get to watch reruns of documentaries and films and news broadcasts of course. If that doesn’t sound horrible enough, they even have designated TV times broadcasts occur at 5pm, 8pm and 10pm, and they normally don’t last longer than 20 minutes. It may be safe to say that they haven’t ever seen the end of a movie.
4. June 8th
On June 8th, 1994, the leader of North Korea at the time was Kim II-Sung. He, unfortunately, passed away. The day is now dedicated to mourning him. This means any little fun that they do get to have is banned even more than it was before. No drinking, and no smiling, and citizens should generally have a sad disposition. Even if you didn’t like the guy, you are forced to mourn him. Can anyone imagine how annoying that is? To have to spend an entire day mourning someone that they didn’t know personally, and may not have even liked? If the government is going to ban fun activities why not make it an official holiday where NO ONE has to work so they can all stay home and be sad in the privacy of their own home?
3. Do Not Fall Asleep
We repeat, DO NOT FALL ASLEEP. Some people can’t help it; life is hard and tiring we can’t be alert and at the top of our game every day. However, when your life depends on it well, that’s a different story. In North Korea, it is actually illegal to fall asleep during a meeting. Take it from the now deceased defence minister Hyon Yong-Chol, who accidentally fell asleep during a meeting held by Kim Jong-Un. He was immediately made an example of, with an anti-aircraft gun. He was executed in one of the most brutal ways. His charge was being disrespectful. Needless to say, this is an extremely over the top punishment for just being tired. But, he must have known what he was getting himself into right?
2. Government Delegates Jobs
It truly doesn’t matter what you go to school for, or if you even get a chance to go to school because the North Korean government assigns jobs. The jobs are mostly delegated by what is in need according to North Korean journalist Mina Yoon, “Once you’re assigned a job from the government, it is your lifelong job”. When kids are finished school, they fill out forms of their top three professions. But the likelihood of actually getting one of those professions is slim to none. Parents have resorted to bribing government officials in order to get their children jobs that will 1. Pay an actual salary, and 2. Isn’t in a factory that isn’t really producing any materials rather, just there for show.
1. If a Fire Breaks Out Save The Photos
It is one of the most important laws (or shall we just call them rules at this point?) in North Korea. If a fire breaks out in your apartment, the first thing you do is save the PICTURES of any political leaders you have hanging in your home. Only then will you be able to save your own things, because god forbid those easily replaceable pictures burn. There isn’t any real explanation for this law in fact, it may just have been made up due to vainness of the political leaders. We also suspect that it’s a law to have at least one political leaders photo in your home. Why else would a law like this exist if not for that reason? From what we know on the outside looking in, it is more important for the citizens to worship their leaders than any other higher up so, its very possible this is the reason why.
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