We are humans and there is nothing we love more than discovering things. The nature of our discoveries can be anything. They can be funny, weird, creepy, or simply mesmerizing. However, today I was in a mood to tackle something a bit more in the spotlight.
North Korea recently carried out a test of a ballistic missile launch and I thought, why don’t the citizens ever stand up to their leader, Kim Jong Un? And then I remembered why. They would get their heads served on a silver plate. But disagreeing with the government isn’t the sole thing North Koreans can’t do.
There are literally a ton of ridiculous laws the people living there need to follow, ranging from not being able to practice the religion you believe in all the way to not even having your own opinion regarding your next hairstyle. This and much more is in today’s spotlight. So what do you say my beautiful readers, shall we start?
15. No Internet Available To The Citizens
You may have heard about this before. If you live in North Korea, you aren’t allowed to use the Internet unless you have a special permit or are of a specific high position on the social ladder, especially government or military.
If you somehow manage to get access and someone notices and reports you, then you will be put in jail if not executed. Even the government’s buildings work on Ethernet rather than wifi to make sure you will not be able to hijack the signal.
14. Only Specific Types Of Hairstyles Allowed
You may have heard the phrase “Pick your poison”. This is exactly what happens in North Korea when you visit the barber to get a haircut. If you are a man you have only 10 options, all of which are horrible in my opinion.
If you are a woman and go to the hairdresser, you are a bit luckier as you have a “huge” selection of 18 hairstyles to choose from. Wonder what would happen if you had one not included in the catalog of accepted ones? Imprisonment, of course, and if you are lucky enough, you may get to keep your life.
13. Controlling Religion and Cult
People in North Korea live under a dictatorial regime which controls the religions citizens can believe in. The majority are atheists, about a 60%-65%, and some believe in other religions with a small percentage of less than 2% are Christian.
If you get caught carrying the holy bible on you, then jail is probably your next destination. If you are lucky, you may not be executed and just spend some time there before being let out. However, in most cases, the outcome is going to be a bit harsher than just jail, if you know what I mean.
12. International Calls
Just like with the Internet law, you cannot make an international telephone call without a special permit or if the situation demands it. Either way, you have to get some kind of approval from the authorities.
The only people able to make international calls are political leaders and people working in similarly high places. You know what happens if you get caught? They just let you go with a simple warning. Not! You get put in jail and stay there until you realize how serious what you did was or just until they kill you.
11. Blue Jeans Is A Big NO-NO
Spongebob is right. What are those!? You better hope that was the only thing you would be told if you were caught wearing blue jeans in North Korea. Do you know where those are made? Probably in the US, or at least that’s where they were first being made.
It is a sign of the culture of the western countries. And anything coming from there is considered to be absolutely illegal. You may get off only with a fine or imprisonment as this isn’t one of the worst things you can do if you live there. But take my word for it, you never know what this nation can do to you if you do something slightly illegal.
10. Smoking Pot Is…Not Illegal?
Wearing blue jeans and browsing the Internet may get you in jail, but smoking pot will not. Both the use and distribution of marijuana is totally legal. Maybe this is a way to keep the population relaxed, so that they don’t get upset over the ridiculous laws they have to follow.
However, they may just like to smoke some weed from time to time just to get high. Imagine an official getting home from work and saying, “Honey, I killed 14 people today. Bring me my weed so I can feel better”. It’s not his fault that it happens, people!
9. You can’t leave
If you get caught trying to flee the country for any reason at all, you will be imprisoned and if you resist the authorities, they have the right to shoot you dead. The only people who can leave the country, and this for serious reasons only, are political members like Kim Jong Un and the people on his team.
The same applies for those wishing to enter the country. It isn’t very easy to visit or leave North Korea even if you are a tourist. Otto Wambler, an American student was held in prison for 17 months and died days after being released in a state of coma. Even if you get to visit the country, a person assigned by the government will be with you at all times.
8. Not allowed to drive
This picture is real, and no it wasn’t taken early in the morning either. This is a usual phenomenon as the huge roads only have two to three cars on them at most times, if not less. The reason for that is that driving isn’t legal to anyone. You have to be of a certain prestigious level to have a vehicle.
Political, military, and government members are most often the people you will see driving down the street. They are constantly empty and safe to cross at all times. This is why so many kids can be seen sitting in the middle of the street.
7. You have to vote
Elections in North Korea don’t work like in other places in the world. First of all, it is mandatory that you show up to cast your vote, and the process is completely different from how it is in the western countries.
Instead of voting who you want to be elected the leader of the nation, you have to cross out the names of the candidates you don’t wish to be elected. Crossing out Kim Jong Un is illegal. So whatever happens, the current leader will always be elected again. Totally logical, right!?
6. Even the music is regulated
Internet and the things you wear are both regulated, so why shouldn’t music be up to your choice? This may sound like a joke but let me assure you that it is absolutely serious. Not only can’t you hear what you want but the songs you are indeed allowed to listen to are all about praising the country or its higher members.
It is like a third world country there as even women can’t be accepted to in bands often. The image attached to this entry is nothing but an exception and this is the only reason I chose to include it. To prove my point!
5. Not a big selection when it comes to television and the media
All those things I previously mentioned were regulated so why wouldn’t television be one of them. There is a law that not only prohibits people from broadcasting or creating new television channels but the only 3 available for you to see are constantly checked by the government which itself picks out which programs will be broadcasted.
These 3 channels are filled with propaganda praising Kim Jong Un and the government system in North Korea in general. If your friends ask you to join them on a Friday night, you couldn’t refuse by saying you will stay home and watch TV.
4. Three generations of punishment
North Korea’s imprisonment system works accordingly to the three generations of punishment law. This means that if someone gets put in jail, then his generation and the two subsequent generations of his family will also be imprisoned and live their lives in jail.
If a woman is pregnant then the child, when it’s born, will be raised behind bars. This is such a brutal law but it isn’t necessarily bad, as the crime rate in North Korea is currently very low. I guess guilt becomes even bigger when your whole family is involved in what you are illegally about to do.
3. Advertising is illegal
You aren’t the only one not allowed to hang up any posters if you live in North Korea. Big companies cannot do that either. You would have to get a special permit by the government to do so, which is extremely hard to achieve.
This is why the majority of posters and advertisements there are full of propaganda praising the military forces or the current leader of the nation, Kim Jong Un. In the photo above, you can clearly see what I mean by propaganda. The poster is dedicated to the worker’s party in North Korea better known as People’s Army.
2. The government decides where you live
Chances are that you are reading this while residing in a free country like most of those in the western world, so you already know that you can move to another city or country whenever you want, provided you have the money and the necessary papers.
In North Korea however, you can’t live whenever you would like to, because the government decides for you. In addition, you can’t move to the capital, Pyongyang, without having some specific credentials like being a family member of someone working in the military or the government.
1. You must pay your kid’s school supplies
No, I don’t mean that you should buy your kid’s pencils or their school backpack. I mean that North Korean parents must pay for everything. This includes the desk the kid will be using, the official school uniform and everything else you can imagine like lunch, extra school tuition hours, and many more things of that nature.
Talk about being a developed country, right? Wrong! This is irrational; many people can’t even live there as they have an average daily calorie consumption of 600 at best. How do you expect them to get by and pay everything at the same time? This is why the majority of the population is home-tutored by their own parents or not study at all and end up working as farmers or cleaners.
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