The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, better known to the rest of the world as North Korea has been in the news because of the North Korean leader’s feud with our president over Twitter. This often called childish feud, has some experts worrying about the potential for it to turn into a nuclear war.
This potential doomsday threat has many people interested in North Korea, and its eccentric and ruthless dictators, so here are ten things about North Korea you didn’t know.
1. Scary Income Sources:
Because North Korea’s doctrine of being self-sufficient, the country is restricted in the economic front. However, the majority of the country’s income comes from supplying the world with counterfeits like fake $100 US bills, methamphetamine, Viagra, and cigarettes. They also sell missile parts and small arms to rogue nations and terror groups.
2. Modern Cannibalism:
In the 1990s, due to some questionable government farming practices and natural flooding, over 2 million North Koreans died, according to the UN. And just recently, Asia Press reported that another famine had hit the farming provinces of North and South Hwanghae which have caused some people to partake in cannibalism.
3. The Rulers Of North Korea:
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been around for over 70 years with the country being led by a total of three rulers to date, of which, all three have been considered to be ruthless dictators. The current leader of North Korea is Kim Jong Un who came to power in 2011 after the death of his father Kim Jong Il who had taken over after the death of his father and founder of the country, Kim Il Sung.
4. Kidnapped To Make Movies:
South Korean film director Shin Sang Ok and his wife, actress Choe Eun Hui were abducted by North Korean agents in 1978 and brought to North Korea. There, they were forced to make dozens of films before managing to escape eight years later.
5. Nuclear Tests And Arsenal:
Against the international law that prohibits any country from using nuclear weapons, North Korea has tested five nuclear weapons. These tests started in 2006 with one bomb in 2016 being said to be a Hydrogen bomb, according to North Korean media (most experts dismiss this claim, however). What is scary about this country is that no one knows how many nuclear weapons they have in their arsenal at the moment.
Watch: Inside North Korea
6. Army Size:
According to the State Department, North Korea has around 1.2 million military personnel stationed at Pyongyang and the border between North and South Korea. In comparison, South Korea has 680,000 and the US has 28,000 military personnel stationed near the border. North Korean men below the age of 60 have also to be compulsorily enlisted in the reserves, increasing the North Korean army size to more than 6 million.
7. Remarkable Records By Their Leaders:
According to reports, Kim Jong Un’s father and previous leader of North Korea had performed some extraordinary feats. These feats include sinking 11 holes-in-one on the first time he played golf as well as being able to score a perfect 300 on the first time he went bowling.
8. The North Korean Missile Program:
First developed in the 1970s, the North Korean missile program was created with some help from the Soviet Union and is equipped with Taepodong-2 missiles. These are long-range missiles that can reach the US while other mid-range missiles have already been tested by being fired over the country of Japan.
9. Political Assassinations:
According to the Malaysian government, Kim Jong Nam, who was the current leader’s older half-brother was assassinated on Feb 13 by two female assassins at Kuala Lumpur Airport. The two women who killed the leader’s older brother using a deadly nerve agent.
10. Concentration Camps:
Human Rights Watch and the South Korean government has estimated that around 150,000-200,000 North Koreans are being held in concentration camps that are surrounded by electrified fencing and no human rights. While all the camps are horrible places for anyone to survive, the people who have committed political crimes are put in the worse prison camps. These camps often imprison the families of those caught performing political crimes where 40% of the imprisoned people died due to malnutrition.
These ten things about North Korea are some of the most surprising and disturbing things you probably didn’t know, right? Well, you may be surprised, but there are many more interesting facts about this dictatorship that are not well-known.
Watch: Inside North Korea