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11 Crazy Facts About North Korea

It is the year 104 in North Korea NOT 2015.

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3. North Koreans are on average shorter than South Koreans


According to the BBC, "In the 1990s North Korea suffered a terrible famine. Today, according to the World Food Programme, "one in every three children remains chronically malnourished or 'stunted', meaning they are too short for their age".

"If you look at older Koreans," says Professor Daniel Schwekendiek from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, "we now see a situation where the average South Korean woman is approaching the height of the average North Korean man."

6. While the current year is 2015, in North Korea the current year is 104.


North Korea uses the Juche Calendar, which was adopted in 1997. It is based on the birth of Kim il-sung which occurred on April 15, 1912. The grandfather of current “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un. 1912 was designated Juche 1 (meaning there is no Juche 0). Kim il-sung was the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (better known as North Korea) from 1948 until his death in 1994. His birthday of April 15th is a national holiday, and the North Korean constitution labels him the “Eternal President.”

7. North Koreans virtually have no free time


In North Korea, there is a 6 day work week and one day of enforced "volunteer" work. North Koreans have to work for very long hours. So, they have virtually NO free time.

8. North Korea's space program only has a 20% success rate


North Korea's space agency is called, the National Aeronautics Development Agency, or NADA. In Spanish, nada means nothing but that's not what North Korea wants to accomplish.

10. North Korea allegedly has Holocaust-style concentration camps


North Korea denies having such camps but satellite images (like the ones above) prove otherwise. It is believed that there is 120,000 to 150,000 people who are enslaved in the camps. They are forced to do hard labor, tortured and sometimes killed.

Here is the story of a man who escape from one of those camps in 2005

View this video on YouTube

His name is Shin Dong-hyuk. He was born in 1982 in a concentration camp called Camp 14. He was raised in Camp 14 without any knowledge of the outside world. He shares his story of being tortured and escaping hell. He currently lives in South Korea.

11. In every North Korean home and business, there is a radio that is controlled by the government.


The radio can only be turned down NOT off but North Korea frequently experiences blackouts and power outages. So, the radios would be silent.

The radio above is a picture of a radio in a North Korean home.

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