North Korea is easily the most repressive country in the world. With the recent National Congress held by current dictator Kim Jong-Un, also known as his ‘Coming Out Party’, this reclusive country made it to the global spotlight once again. Here are 10 interesting facts about North Korea that you might not know:
1. The current year in North Korea is 104
The year in North Korea is based on the birth of Kim Il-Sung (15 April 1912). He is also known as the founder of North Korea and worshipped by the North Koreans. This also means that North Korea celebrate their New Year on 15 April instead.
2. Kim Jong-Il is thought to have killed his brother
The former dictator North Korea is thought to have killed his brother in their family’s swimming pool at the age of five.
3. In 2013, Kim Jong-Un executed his uncle
Accused for mismanaging the economy, womanising, corruption and drug-taking, Hyon Yong-Chol, Defense Minister of North Korea together with five of his followers, were executed by being fed to a pack of 120 hungry dogs.
4. Kim Jong-Un’s brother was favourite to succeed until he was caught trying to sneak into Disneyland
Kim Jong-Nam allegedly used a fake passport with a Chinese name and attempted to enter Japan so that he could visit Disneyland. However, he was caught in China and sent back to North Korea. Kim Jong-Un then became the favourite to take over his father’s position as the dictator.
5. Prisoners are used for experiments of biochemical weapons
North Korea scientist, Dr Kim, who escaped in 2004, admitted that prisoners were used for biomedical experiments. This is to help the state determine how much gas is needed to annihilate the whole of Seoul city in South Korea.
6. Human faeces are sold in North Korea shops as fertilisers
Due to a shortage of fertiliser for crops, human faeces are sold in the market as a substitute for other types of fertilisers.
7. Kim Il-Sung was announced as the eternal president of North Korea in 1994
In other words, even after his death in 1997, Kim Il-Sung remains the official president of North Korea to date. The current dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, is just called the leader of its political party and military.
8. North Korea has its own operating system known as the Red Star OS
Due to high state control and propaganda, North Korea has designed its own operating system for those legally permitted to have access to the Internet.
9. According to North Korean textbooks, Kim Jong-Un could drive since he was three
As absurd as it may sound, little could be done to stop the North Koreans from worshipping their dictators.
10. When an anti Kim Il-Sung graffiti was discovered in PyongYang, North Korea, in 2011, the entire city was locked down for 3 days
Once again, this shows how the state and their dictator assert power on the citizens.
Reports on the latest National Congress suggested that Kim Jong-Un plans to replace the current elites with a younger officials, with the possibility that North Korea is opening up its economy. During the National Congress, Kim Jong-Un had also expressed interest in making policy changes. These might be signals that North Korea is finally ready to open up to the rest of the world.