North Korea has been in the news – again – recently as the target of the Seth Rogan-James Franco movie The Interview. The movie was pulled from theaters when unknown hackers threatened bombing theaters that would be showing it, which caused the studio and many theaters to think twice about releasing or showing it.
There’s some evidence of North Korea being behind the hacking, though it’s not clear cut. But North Korea would certainly love to see The Interview burned: it shows the country and its leader in what could be called a very unappealing light, including a graphic scene where Rogen and Franco blow up leader Kim Jong-un’s head.
Whether or not North Korea is, indeed, behind the cyber attacks, it’s certainly an interesting place, and one that many people don’t know much about. Here are 16 amazing facts about life in North Korea.
1.) North Korean archaeologists claim to have discovered the home and resting place of a legendary Korean unicorn, once the companion and steed of a 2,000 year old king.
2.) No one can own cars in North Korea except the government and military officials.
3.) The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, can hold 150,000 people, making it the world’s largest stadium.
4.) Taking pictures of impoverished people is illegal; they might mar North Korea’s image.
5.) “NADA” is North Korean’s version of NASA.
6.) Kijong-dong is an uninhabited city that was built to attract South Koreans.
7.) Kim Jong-un killed his uncle in a gruesome way: he threw him, live and nude, into a pen of over 100 hungry dogs. Then he killed everyone else in his family.
8.) The death penalty is the standard sentence for anyone caught with porn or a bible.
9.) But marijuana is legal and plentiful!
Despite the government’s deadly serious stance on the use and distribution of hard drugs like crystal meth (which has a notorious legacy in the country), marijuana is reportedly not considered a drug.
10.) Since 1968, North Korea has held a single U.S. Navy Ship captive.
11.) Since 1955, over 20,000 North Koreans have left for South Korea. Two South Koreans have left fro North Korea.
12.) North Korea had a 24 hour delay for the 2014 World Cup.
13.) There are 51 ranks in the North Korean class system; there are three main groups: “tomatoes” (red communists, highest in rank), “apples”, and “grapes”.
14.) North Koreans can choose one of 28 government-sanctioned haircuts.
15.) Denim pants are illegal (not hemp pants, though, as long as they don’t look like jeans).
16.) North Korea isn’t technically a communist country; they follow a system called “Juche” (which they made up).