The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been essentially cut off from the rest of the world since the country's first president, Kim Ill Sung, set the policy of juche, or "self-reliance." But when you take a peek into what's really been going on in the country, the truth is too bizarre to handle.
Pyongyang is one of North Korea's only cities. Only the elite are allowed to live in Pyongyang, which seems like it would have perks...except for the fact that most of the time the buildings don't have electricity and the swank-looking hotel in the middle of the city is just a hollowed out shell of a building. Additionally, North Korea has such a food shortage that the three million "elite" citizens of Pyongyang don't even get three meals a day.
In the '90s, all teachers were required to learn how to play the accordion, aka "the people's instrument." They were even required to take an "accordion test" in order to receive a teaching certificate.
You can watch North Korean kids playing A-ha's 80's classic "Take On Me" on the accordion here because North Korea knows how to be made to have fun!
Need a haircut? There are only 28 approved haircuts that you can get. Married ladies have to keep their hair short while the single gals can rock long, soft curls. However if you're a dude and want to copy Dear Leader, you're SOL. Kim Jong Un's 'do is not on the list.
5. Nothing Gets Between Me And My Calvins...Except Kim Jong Un
It's illegal to wear jeans in North Korea. Yup. Jeans. It's also illegal to watch TV, drink alcohol, make international calls, play music and use the internet. Also having fun is apparently illegal too?
North Korea holds elections every five years. So citizens are allowed to choose who they want as leader, as long as it's the only person on the ballot ”” you guessed it ”” Kim Jong Un. They're also mandatory, so essentially you don't have a choice in voting for the one person you're given the option of voting for.
It's illegal to own a Bible in North Korea, and the country has even staged public executions of those who own Bibles. But even threat of death hasn't stopped the Good Book from getting through ”” there's an organization dedicated to smuggling Bibles into North Korea via balloon.
Did you know that when Kim Jong Il was born, not only was there was a double rainbow, but his birth also caused a new star to appear in the sky? Also, he has the power to control the weather! At least according to his biography anyway.
Kijong-dong was built in 1953 as a "nice town" on the boarder of North Korea. It has brightly painted houses, schools and a hospital, but it doesn't have people. The ghost town is also known as "Propaganda Village" and is believed to serve as a lure for South Korean defectors.
North Korea has the honor of being the world's only necrocracy - a government that operates under the rules of a dead leader. Eternal President Kim Il-Sung may have died in 1994, but his laws are still going strong!