“One of the happiest countries in the world.“ ”Real unicorn’s tomb.” “The President’s good mood assures fine weather.” Nope, these are not random words. They are all about North Korea. Want some more facts?
Bright Side has 12 facts describing this paradoxical country, which will not leave you indifferent by any means.
12. Separate calendar
In 1997, North Korea accepted the new chronology, and now they are in the year 106. The starting point was Kim Il-sung’s birthday in 1912. All printed calendars have 2 versions: dates for North Korea and dates for the rest of the world.
Kim Il-sung has many noble titles (like “The Eternal President”). So do his son and grandson, but they are never called presidents.
11. Social classes
In 1957, the DPRK authorities divided the country into 3 main social classes, which are the loyal “core class“ (tomato), the ”wavering class” (apple), and the “hostile class” (grapes). All classes are also divided into 50 groups.
- Tomatoes are red both inside and outside. These people have proved their loyalty toward the party. They are most likely to be politicians and military officers.
- Apples are red only on the outside. These people need to be improved, and they are most likely ordinary citizens.
- Grapes are those who break the law. For example, these are citizens who tried to make a phone call abroad.
This status (songbun) is included in the identification records of every person in the country when they reach the age of 17. It influences the future of a person greatly in choosing their education, career, and so on. By the way, North Korean authorities deny the existence of social class division.
There are almost no constructed roads in the DPRK. Only 8% of all roads are covered with a solid surface. Actually, this is not a problem for local citizens. All transport inside the country is controlled by the authorities, and only military people and politicians can afford a car. Others usually travel by bicycle.
9. Traffic ladies
In accordance with the above fact, logically, there are few traffic lights in North Korea. However, big cities still need traffic control. This is often a job for good-looking girls. A traffic lady should be single and younger than 26. When she is out of these rules by any parameter, she must leave her post.
8. NADA agency
The country worked on space exploration in the ’80s. In 2013, North Korea opened NADA and showed the world its logo. This logo resembles that of NASA, and the title also looks familiar. Nobody knows if the intention is to prank the USA or if it is a pure coincidence.
7. Mighty Kim Jong-il
The former leader of North Korea was not an ordinary person. His biography (which is a credit course at school) says that he was born on Mount Paektu, and his birth caused a star to illuminate the sky and a double rainbow spontaneously appeared. He also learned to walk and talk when he was not even 1 year old. After his death, the Mass Media reported that “layers of ice ruptured with an unprecedentedly loud crack at Chon Lake on Mount Paektu, and a snowstorm with strong winds hit the area.”
However, other sources state that the leader was born in Vyatskoye (Russia) under the former Soviet Union, where his father tried to hide from Japanese occupants. It seems like it’s up to you to decide what is actually true.
6. Unicorns exist.
North Korean scientists claim that unicorns are not imaginary animals. Local archaeologists found the ancient lair of this once mythological creature. The place is in the capital of the country: Pyongyang. Such a “magical” discovery surely raises the social power and patriotism of the citizens.
5. Magic medicine
North Korea claimed to find a “cure“ for Mers, Aids, and Ebola. The ”magic” injections also help to ease cancer, morning nausea, and stress caused by working with computers. This medicine includes red ginseng, grown in the Kaesong area, together with some gold and platinum.
4. Arirang festival
About 100,000 people (excluding spectators) take part in the musical-dancing show in one of the largest stadiums in the world. The scenes demonstrate different sketches, which mostly praise the authorities of the great and mighty country.
The drawing card of the show is the so-called “live screen“ (the picture above shows the ”screen” displaying the country’s flag). Thousands of colored cards held by the participants of the show produce the image, and they change the cards on a special signal. Arirang has been included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the show with the largest number of participants.
3. Clothes and fashion
Women in North Korea do not make a habit of following international fashion trends, but they still want to look pretty. They mostly wear striсt everyday combinations, and uniforms can also be worn on a daily basis. North Korean women have a special kind of love for wearing high heels. They can spend the whole day in such shoes, and it will be the absolute norm.
As for makeup, they just do not need it, and their everyday life and work do not require it. Everything changes during national holidays and celebrations: women use bright makeup and wear bright national costumes.
2. Leisure squad
Together with the regular army of serving soldiers, there is a special leisure squad in North Korea. It consists of pretty young girls only, and their main work is to accompany military men of high status in their free time.
However, these girls are also a part of the regular army, and they have to follow all the military rules. Officially, they are a part of the North Korean military forces.
1. North Korea is a happy country.
North Korean scientists conducted research with the following result: the DPRK is one of the happiest countries in the world. To be exact, it’s in second place after China. On the other hand, the authorities really do many things to make all the citizens happy and to strengthen their morale.
According to the same research, the unhappiest country in the world is the USA, which is surely quite subjective.
So this is the complex North Korea. Which fact is the most unbelievable for you? Do you happen to know some more interesting facts? Share below!
Preview photo credit AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS