It’s hardly a controversial claim to state that some strange and often ridiculous claims are made in North Korea. Many official statements released by the government, military, or news media outlets (which are all just different apparatuses of the State, of course) are demonstrably false or beyond believable. Many of the threats levelled at foes of the DPRK (which is to say pretty much everyone who is not North Korean or, to a lesser extent, Chinese or Russian. Or Swiss) are made in language so extreme and outlandish as to be nearly comical, save for the fact that this is real life and these guys have nuclear weapons.
It can be hard to tell at whom the propaganda, exaggerations, and boasts made in North Korea are aimed. Often the claims made by North Korean officials are clearly intended to bolster the morale of the citizens of the Hermit Kingdom (they don’t self-apply that monicker, FYI) but at other times they seem intended to awe or intimidate those of us living beyond their little corner of the world. Whether North Korea thinks any of us out here actually believe the batshit crazy stuff they say is hard to gauge, but it’s sure fun to hear it either way. Y’know, as long as they never fire a Hwasong-14 ICBM at New York or San Francisco or anything, that is.
15. N. Korea Claims the CIA and S. Korea Attempted To Assassinate Kim Jong-un
According to a report made by the state-run North Korean news outlet KCNA last May, the governments of the United States and South Korea conspired to kill dictator Kim Jong-un using a complicated chemical/biological weapons attack. Apparently the assassination attempt to “commit bomb terrorism targeting the supreme leadership” failed in its aim to use”biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance.” The only problem with the report was…all of it.
14. The North Korean Famine Was Caused By Failure To Heed Kim John-il’s Guidance
Between 1994 and 1998, a horrific famine devastated the population of North Korea. Estimates vary widely, but at the low end, a quarter of a million people died due to starvation or complications brought on by food shortage, and at the high end, perhaps as many as thrill million perished during the famine. According to North Korean media, the “food shortage” issue was due in part to poor weather, but largely because people had failed to heed unspecified teachings of their leader. It was not, in other words, due to abysmal infrastructure and a total lack of effective disaster response abilities. (The near total lack of contact with the outside world didn’t help, either. We’re here to help, DPRK, we really are.)
13. North Koreans Are the “Purest Race”
Say what you will about white supremacists, just as long as all the things you say are insulting and derisive, but at least in America organizations like the KKK and Neo-Nazi movements are treated like the idiotic fringe groups they are. In North Korea, official propaganda extolls the citizens as being the “purest race” on earth, whatever racial purity actually even means. They consider the South Koreans — who, y’know, share centuries of history and blood relations — as racially contaminated. You can only imagine what they think of the rest of the world…
12. Kim Jong-il Invented the Hamburger
Whoever deserves the rightful title as the original creator of the hamburger, it was not the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. But does that stop North Korea from claiming that he invented this classic meal? Nope. No matter that hamburgers were being eaten for several decades before Jong-il was even born, and don’t worry about the fact that we know the hamburger originated out of the West. (While we can’t confirm exactly who first developed the tasty meat and bread combo, we do know for sure that it was a joint European and American effort. Hamburg steak from Germany, American inventiveness for pairing that meat with bread. Boom.)
11. North Korean Scientists Created a Super Drink That Makes You Smarter
In 2010, DPRK media released a stunning report claiming that the Moranbong Carbonated Fruit Juice Joint Venture Company had developed a beverage that contained 60 “microelements” (WTF that is, we don’t know) derived from several dozen different plants and that could, among other things, enhance mental abilities by growing you more brain cells, protect skin from wrinkles, prevent geriatric diseases and heart attacks, and even clear up your complexion. So, in other words, they had created magic.
10. Kim Jong-un Does Not Produce Bodily Waste
According to an official biography of the 33 year old ruler of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un does not produce urine or feces. His body is, we are told, so well calibrated that it uses all of the foods and liquids ingested and produces no waste. Based on other less official reports detailing the amount of cheese he eats and the volume of booze he drinks, that is one amazing body indeed to process so much rot into just the right balance of nutrients and fat to sustain his rotundity.
9. Unicorns Were Real, They’re Just Extinct Now
If you had any lingering doubts that the North Korean state-run news agency will say absolutely anything and should never, ever be listened to, try this one: in late 2012, a KCNA report claimed that North Korean archeologists has uncovered an ancient unicorn lair. The site they uncovered contained evidence of a unicorn that had been ridden by King Tongmyong, who ruled a kingdom covering much of the Korean peninsula a few centuries before the Common Era. This, people, is what we call a confirmation bias.
8. Kim Jong-il Was the Greatest Golfer in Human History
According to official reports, Kim Jong-il once shot a 38 on an 18 hole golf course. His game involved eleven hole-in-one tee-off shots, and not a single hole on which he earned more than a birdie. This par shattering-score would be a world record never likely to be matched were it not complete and utter tripe. Oh, also, the superlative golf game was reportedly the first and last time Kim Jong-il ever bothered to play golf. Having already established himself as peerless the one time, he moved his focus to nuclear brinksmanship.
7. Kim Jong-il Was a Worldwide Fashion Icon
If you look at any of the many photos of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, you’ll probably think of many words you would use to describe the man before the word “stylish.” But according to North Korean claims, the man was such a fashionable guy that his sartorial stylings influenced people all over the globe. Now listen, the guy could rock a drab or gray zippered shirt and dumpy slacks like no one’s business, and those massive glasses were totally cool, but that was his look; no one else even pretends they can pull it off like Kim J.
6. Kim Jong-un Learned to Drive at Age 3
If you believe official claims made by state-run media agencies in North Korea, you’re either a denizen of that nation, or you’re just not that sharp. If you do, however, believe the hype, then you believe that Kim Jong-un mastered driving an automobile at age three, and was ably on control of large boats by the time he was nine. In fact he apparently won multiple yacht races before his tenth birthday. Also he is a world-class writer, composer, and visual artist. And some other stuff.
5. North Korea Invented a Hangover-Free Alcohol
It would be nice if some of the claims coming out of North Korea were true, of course. Like that unicorn one? That’s something the global community could get behind. And if thew reports were true about the hangover-free booze North Korean scientists had created, that would be great for everyone too. But of course this 2016 assertion was just more strange drivel that might — and I’m just guess here — have been announced after quite a drinking session. (And probably before the booze wore off.)
4. Kim Jong-il Wrote 1,500 Books…While at School
While attending classes at (where else?) Kim Il-sung University in North Korea, the future dictator Kim Jong-un is reported to have written fifteen hundred books. Yes, one thousand five hundred books, and yes written, not read. Assuming you attended a standard four year college or university, that would require you to write a book almost every day to match his output, there being 1,825 days in a four year period, and approximately 360 of this likely being time off during the summer.
3. Kim Jong-il Bowled a Perfect 300 Game
In 1994, a shining new 40-lane bowling alley was opened in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. The Pyongyang Gold Lane alley was soon graced with the presence of leader Kim Jong-il, who apparently showed up and then proceeded to bowl a perfect 300-point game. Jong-il, who was 53 at the time, had never expressed much interest in bowling before, but his natural aptitude at absolutely everything in the entire world allowed him to instantly master the sport and achieve perfection.
2. North Korea Claims All of America Is In Striking Distance
The North Korean military now claims that its intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach any target anywhere in the United States. A few short months ago, their known weapon systems were capable of striking Alaska, targets in the Pacific, and perhaps even some locations on the west coast of the mainland US. Now they say they can strike anywhere. Experts think this is likely overstated, but probably not by much. So this claim isn’t crazy so much because it’s insane, but because it’s terrifying.
1. Everyone Everywhere Wishes the Kims a Happy Birthday
If you live anywhere outside of North Korea, you probably don’t even know the birthdays of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, or Kim Jong-un. If you live in the DPRK, though, you probably believe that every person in every country on earth not only knows but celebrates the natal days of these three
stupid asshats — er — beloved and benevolent leaders. (Keeping the myth of these warm wishes is made much easier by the fact that North Koreans are also often told that the internet is a hoax created by the outside world.)
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