The Hermit Kingdom as North Korea is often known due to its reclusive status is one of the most secretive countries in the world, allowing very few foreigners to enter its boundaries. Kim Jong-Il who is the Chairman of the National Defense Commission of the country was successor to his father, Kim Il-sung, who is the Eternal President of the country. Ruled by the Korean Workers’ Party, it is a huge proponent of self-reliant Juche ideology. While it is officially a Socialist republic, it is often referred to as a dictatorship by most media organizations. The country follows the Songun policy or the military first policy, which is a way to strengthen not only the country but its government as well. With this policy in place, it is not wonder that it has one of the biggest armies in the world and is the most militarized countries. There are many such North Korea facts that we introduce you to in this article.
North Korea: An Overview of the Country
After the Second World War, Korea which was under Japanese rule was taken over by the Allied powers with the UN dividing the administration of the country, with the USSR taking over control of the Northern half of the country and the US administering the half below the 38th parallel. After establishing a pro USSR communist government, the Soviet withdrew from the country. When the leader of the country asked the Soviet for support to invade South Korea, the plan did not garner any support, while the US send its forces to support the South Korean military. The war between the two countries lasted for almost three years, ending in July 1953 in a stalemate. There has been no peace treaty that has been signed between the two countries and the nations are separated by a demilitarized zone or DMZ.
After the war, the North Korea focused on its policy of Juche and started industrialization in a huge manner to make a strong nation that could be self-reliant and did not have to depend on any other country for food, domestic needs or even technology. In the 1960s, in the wake of the disagreements between USSR and China, the perceived support to China led to the Soviet cutting off any help to North Korea. The economy of the country took a huge hit in the seventies and after the death of Kim Il-sung was bogged down by more troubles, especially in the form of the famine that hit the country in the late nineties. Today, food aid is a major necessity in North Korea. In the table given below, we give you some of the main details about the country.
Facts About North Korea
Official Name The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Capital City Pyongyang
Government Military Dictatorship
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il
Total Area 122,762 square kilometers
Total Population 23.9 million (as of 2010)
Religious Beliefs Non religious, largely atheist
Monetary Unit Won
Now that we know some of the most important details about North Korea, let us take a look at some interesting facts about a country that remains the cause of major intrigue for most people.
❖ Citizens of the country of North Korea are given voting power at the age of seventeen.
❖ The official spoken language of the country is Korean and the written language with its own alphabet is known as hangul.
❖ While the majority of the population is Korean in ethnicity, the population consists of ethnic Chinese and Japanese who have made the country their home as well.
❖ North Korea has been for several decades now, making a conscious effort to expel any words from the vocabulary that has been borrowed from other languages.
❖ While the official status of the country is non-religious, traditionally belief systems included Buddhism, Shamanism, Christianity, Confucianism, and Cheondogyo.
❖ The highest geographical point in the country is Baektusan which stands at 2,744 meters above sea level.
❖ The North Korean military has about 1.21 million people registered in its services.
❖ North Korea has one of the most active nuclear weapons program and it is believed that they tested their first nuclear weapon in 2006 and that they have about six to eight nuclear weapons in their armory. The nuclear issue in North Korea is one that has many world leaders on tenterhooks.
❖ Any form of criticism against the government of the country is strictly prohibited despite the fact that the constitution of the country provides for both freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
❖ Since 2005 almost 90 percent of phone lines that could make a connection with outside lines have been cut off and discontinued in the country.
❖ The literacy rate of the country is one of the highest in the world supposedly at about 99%.
❖ The country is divided into nine provinces or divisions and three special cities for the purpose of administration.
❖ A visitor visiting North Korea is always accompanied by two local guides and their trip has to adhere to any and all rules as set by the government.
The information that is available about the country of North Korea is very limited, especially because of the huge control that the government has over the media of the country and the isolated status that it maintains. These North Korea facts are sure to be the tip of the iceberg if you want to learn more about a country that seems to intrigue more every day.