15 Mind-Blowing Facts about North Korea

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It is always interesting to learn new things about a country. This enables you to acquire a better understanding of what is happening around the world and offers the surprises that it holds. We are going to shed some light on one such country about which various facts remain unknown by majority of the people.
North Korea is a country that everyone has heard of. It is often referred to as the hermit kingdom. Located off the east coast of China, the country is often called out by various people for being the epitome of tyranny. You will often get to hear quite a few jokes about the kind of government the country has. However, despite this, there is not much awareness when it comes to the country and what goes on in it. Thus, we are going to provide you with some facts related to the country which will leave you astounded.
A huge reason for the various things you notice about the country is the government that it has. The country is run by a one-party republic. All the major governing structures are head by a single man owing to which there is the monotony of power. While you proceed to read the facts that we are about to present you with, keep this in mind, as this will enable you to fathom the state of affairs in the country.


1. Population

The capital of North Korea which is also the largest city of the country Pyongyang has a population of around 2.843 million which is more than the fourth most populous city in the U.S. that is Houston, Texas that has the population of around 2.195 million.

2. Literacy rate

It is often said that the success of a country should be judged on the basis of literacy rate that it has. If that is indeed the parameter, there can be no doubts about the success of North Korea which has a 100% literacy rate. By definition of CIA, literacy is when people aged 15 years and more can read and write. Thus, if we hold this definition to be true, North Korea is quite ahead in the literacy rate.

3. Haircut

Can you imagine being told which haircut you can have and which one is not allowed? While this might be an outrageous idea for you, such is not the case with North Korea. There are 28 state-approved haircuts that the country has. Women have the option to select any one of the 14 hairstyles. The married women are supposed to have short tresses while the single ladies are given the freedom to have longer and curlier locks. Men cannot have hairs longer than five centimeter which is less than two inches. In contrast, older men are allowed to have hairs up to seven centimeter. This is not something that most of us can imagine since we have the freedom to opt for any hairstyle and can go as wild as we want without having to worry about facing any kind of repercussions for the same.

4. Annual income

Kim Jong-il, father of the leader, Kim Jong-un, reportedly had more annual cognac expenses that the annual income of the country. According to reports, he spent as much as £700,000 on Hennessy annually which is approximately $1.2 million. In contrast, the annual income of the country lies within the range of $1,000 and $2,000. In addition to this, he also owned around 20,000 video tapes since he was an ardent fan of movies. His favorite movies included the likes of The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love, and Godzilla among others.

5. Football

The record of North Korea is not very impressive when it comes to football. However, it did manage to score a goal against Brazil in 2010 world cup. While they still lost the match, the goal is indeed one of the brighter parts of their history in football.

6. Size

North Korea is approximately of the same size as Pennsylvania. The latter spans across an area of around 119,283 square kilometers while the area of North Korea is nearly 120,538 square kilometers.

7. Arability

While North Korea is quite large, most of the area is not arable. Indeed, around 19.08% of the area is arable which is approximately 8,879.83 square miles. This is similar to the size of New Jersey which is around 8,722.58 square miles.

8. Height

It has been seen that the North Koreans born after the period of Korean War are on average around two inches shorter than the South Koreans. This is owing to the fact that a large section of the population of North Korea faces shortage of food and nearly one-third of children can be deemed chronically malnourished. Thus, their height suffers owing to the same.

9. Army

Not many are aware of the fact that North Korea has the fourth largest standing army in the world. According to an estimate, as many as 1.190 million people are part of the active military. As compared to this, U.S. military has around 1.369 million members.

10. People available for military service

In North Korea, around 6.515 million males and 6.418 million females are available for military services. Collectively, this amounts to about 12.933 million which is quite close to the whole population of Senegal that is nearly 13.3 million.

11. Roads

It is seen that only around 2.83% of roads in North Korea are paved. This implies that while there are 25,554 kilometers of road in the country, only 724 kilometers among these are paved. Thus, the paved roads are equivalent to the distance between New York and Cleveland.

12. Malnourishment

According to reports, around six million of the people residing in the country are in dire need of an adequate supply of food. A large population of children suffers from malnourishment.

13. Agriculture

As per CIA reports, around 23.4% of GDP of the country comprises agriculture. The crops grown include the likes of rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, and pulses among others. Cattle, pigs, pork, and eggs also contribute quite a bit to the GDP. Despite this, people suffer from shortage of food according to the World Food program which is quite surprising and says a lot about the government of the country.

14. GDP

According to reports, the GDP of the country is around half of the net worth of once the world’s richest man. Carlos Slim was the world’s richest man from 2010 to 2013 whose net worth was $79.9 billion. In comparison to this, the GDP of North Korea is around $40 billion.
The GDP of Qatar, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world, is more than 50 times that of North Korea. GDP per capita of North Korea is around $1,800. If you recall the amount of money spent by the rulers, this is certainly something that you should blow your mind away.

15. Corruption

As per reports, North Korea is leading in the corruption race and has the top position tying with Afghanistan and Somalia for being the most corrupt country in the world. According to the Corrupt Perceptions Index which is released annually, it is North Korea, Somalia, and Afghanistan who are the most corrupt nations. In this index, a score between zero and 100 is given to around 177 countries and territories. Zero implies highly corrupt while 100 is the country which is devoid of corruption for the most parts. North Korea attained the score of eight in this index which is enough to tell you about the state of the country and its people. The rate of malnourishment does not come as a surprise if you take this into account.


It is apparent that there is a lot more about North Korea than we know. A lot about the people, their culture, their way of living, and the problems they face remains hidden. What do they do for time-pass? What is the collective interest of the people residing in the country? What type of food do they eat? What type of songs and festivities do they prefer? These are just some of the things that most of us do not know about the country.
It is always a good idea to keep an open mind when exploring a new country. There is a lot that needs to be known and a lot that is waiting to be discovered. Therefore, whenever you endeavor to find out about any country that you know little about, try to be as neutral and unbiased as possible and keep an open perspective. This will enable you to acquire a better understanding of the people there.
North Korea is indeed one of the few countries that have managed to retain an air of mystery around them. Thus, if you would like to know more about the country, you will need to dig a lot deeper. As of now, the facts that we have presented you with should be enough to enable you to marvel at the various sides of the country and everything about it.

BuzzHubb is a blog magazine with outstanding news ranging from bizarre, shocking stories, and hidden facts of the world and What the Internet is talking about Right Now!

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