13 Facts About North Korea


1. 28 State-Approved Haircuts.
This means all the people in North Korea can only pick haircuts from 28 state-approved styles. 10 for men and 18 for women. According to Time, “Women are allowed to choose one of 14 styles; married women are instructed to keep their tresses short, while the single ladies are allowed let loose with longer, curlier locks.” As for men, they are “prohibited from growing their hair longer than 5 cm — less than 2 inches — while older men can get away with up to 7 cm (3 inches).”

2. $1.2 Million on Hennessey.

Kim Jong-il, reportedly, spent $1.2 million a year on Hennessey cognac, when the average annual income in North Korea is between $1,000 to $2,000 a year. About 6 million people in North Korea are starving or chronically malnourished, while their “dear leader” spent $1.2 million a year on Hennessey alone.

3. Film Buff.

Kim Jong-il is a cinephile. His favorite movies were Rambo, Godzilla, The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love, and Friday the 13th. He even kidnapped South Korea’s most famous actresses and directors for nine years to make movies for North Korea.

4. 4th Largest Army.
North Korea spends about 25% of their income on military spending. They have the fourth largest army in the world, to China, India, and the United States. It is reported that they have about 2 million soldiers in active military service, while the US has about 1.3 million.

5. 2 Inches Shorter.

The average height for South Korean men is about 5’7″, while North Korean men are about 5’5″. This is due to the country’s chronical malnourishment. Women in South Korea average about 5’2″, while in North Korea they are about 5’0″ even.

6. Marijuana is Legal.

It’s 100% legal in North Korea and isn’t even classified as a drug. It’s known as “ip tambae,” or “leaf tobacco,” and is very popular among North Koreans soldiers and the upper-class. It’s like cigarettes in North Korea.

7. USS Pueblo.
North Korea is the only country in the world to successfully capture an American Naval Vessel. It’s on display in Pyongyang, North Korea as a mandatory tourist attraction and a sign of North Korean strength.

8.2017 = The Year 105.

The year in North Korea is not 2014, but rather 102. The birthdate of the country’s leader Kim Il-sung is the beginning of time in North Korea, which is April 15, 1912.

9. Not Communists.

Officially, North Korea is not a communist state anymore. The country’s ideology is Juche, or Kimilsungism, which is based on self-reliance.

10. Tallest Hotel.
Since 1987, North Korea has been building The Ryugyong Hotel, which, if completed, would be the tallest hotel in the world. It’s mostly empty and stands at 105 floors tall. Construction started in 1987, but halted when Communism ended and the USSR stopped bankrolling North Korea in 1992. The Ryugyong Hotel remains unfinished today. At the moment, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is the tallest hotel in the world with 77 floors.

11. Largest Stadium.
The largest stadium in the world is the Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea with the capacity of 150,000. It’s the home of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea national football team.

12. 100% literacy rate.

North Korea has an 100% literacy rate (read and write), among people over 15 years old. By comparison, the literacy rate in the United States is 99%.

13. Unicorn.

North Korea archaeologists claim that they discovered a unicorn, which King Tongmyong rode almost 2,000 years ago.