34 North Korea Facts: Uncovering the Secrets of the Hermit Kingdom

North Korea is a country in East Asia that has always been shrouded in secrecy. It is a totalitarian state ruled by a single party, the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The country has been in the news for its nuclear program, human rights violations, and its enigmatic leader, Kim Jong-un.

In this article, we’ll explore some interesting facts about North Korea that you may not have known.

Table of Contents

Interesting North Korea Facts:

The official name of North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Official Name Of North Korea(DPRK)

The country was founded in 1948 after World War II and the division of Korea into North and South.

The country’s official name reflects the ideology of the ruling party, which claims to be a democracy. However, the country is considered one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

The country is isolated from the rest of the world.

North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world. The country is known for its strict control over information and communication.

Citizens cannot access the internet, and foreign media is heavily censored. The country also has strict rules for foreigners who want to visit.

North Korea has a state religion.

State Religion

The state religion of North Korea is Juche, which is a political ideology developed by the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung.

The ideology emphasizes self-reliance, independence, and the importance of the state over the individual. The ideology is still taught in schools and universities and is central to the country’s propaganda.

North Korea has its own time zone.

North Korea is in a unique time zone 30 minutes ahead of its neighbor, South Korea. The time zone was created in 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japan.

North Korea has mandatory military service.

Mandatory Military Service in North Korea

All men aged 17 to 25 and women aged 17 to 23 are required to serve in the military for up to 10 years.

The country has one of the largest standing armies in the world, with an estimated 1.2 million active soldiers and another 7.7 million in reserve.

North Korea has a space program.

Despite its isolation and economic difficulties, North Korea has a space program.

The country has launched several satellites into orbit and claims to have put a man into space in 2012. However, these claims have not been independently verified.

North Korea is the only country to have withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

North Korea Facts

In 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, an international agreement to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The country has since conducted several nuclear tests and developed a nuclear arsenal.

North Korea has its own unique cuisine.

North Korean cuisine is distinct from South Korean cuisine and is characterized by its use of fermented and pickled ingredients.

Some popular North Korean dishes include kimchi, naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles), and Pyongyang-style cold noodles.

North Korea has a compulsory education system.

Compulsory Education System in North Korea

All children in North Korea are required to attend school for 11 years, from age 5 to 16.

The country has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, with an estimated 99 percent of the population able to read and write.

North Korea has a strong cult of personality around its leaders.

North Korea’s ruling family, the Kim dynasty, is revered as almost divine by the North Korean people.

The country has a strong cult of personality around its leaders, with portraits and statues of the Kims all over the country. The government also controls all media and propaganda, which reinforces this cult of personality.

North Korea has a large number of statues and monuments.

Statues And Monuments in North Korea

North Korea is known for its grandiose monuments and statues, many depicting the ruling family.

The most famous of these is the 20-meter-tall bronze statue of Kim Il-sung, located in Pyongyang’s Mansudae Grand Monument.

North Korea has a bizarre tradition of synchronized mass games.

The country hosts massive displays of synchronized performances, known as the Arirang Festival, that involve tens of thousands of performers.

The performances feature elaborate costumes, music, and gymnastics and are used to promote the country’s propaganda and ideology.

North Korea is a major producer of counterfeit currency and drugs.

A Major Producer Of Counterfeit Currency And Drugs

The country is known for producing high-quality counterfeit currency, and drugs smuggled into other countries to finance its economy.

The United States and other countries have imposed sanctions on North Korea to curb these illegal activities.

North Korea has a massive underground military complex.

The country has constructed a vast network of tunnels and bunkers to protect its military installations from air strikes.

The tunnels are believed to be more than 4,000 kilometers long and can house up to 30,000 soldiers and their equipment.

North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Poorest Country

Despite its nuclear ambitions and military might, North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world.

The state heavily controls the country’s economy, and most people live in poverty. The government has been criticized for its human rights violations, including the use of forced labor and concentration camps.

North Korea operates its own time zone.

In 2015, North Korea announced it would create its own time zone, Pyongyang Time. The move was intended to distance the country from its colonial past and align it with its Asian neighbors.

North Korea has its own internet.

Kwangmyong Station

North Korea has its own internet, Kwangmyong, which is heavily censored and monitored by the government. Most North Koreans have limited or no access to the global internet.

North Korea is home to the world’s tallest unoccupied building.

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang is a 105-story skyscraper meant to be the tallest hotel in the world. However, construction stalled in the 1990s, and the building was never opened or occupied.

North Korea has a fascination with American pop culture.

American Pop Culture in North Korea

Despite its anti-American propaganda, North Korea is fascinated with American pop culture, particularly Hollywood movies. Bootlegged copies of American films and TV shows are widely available nationwide.

North Korea has its own brand of beer.

North Korea produces its own beer brand called Taedonggang, named after the Taedong River that runs through Pyongyang. The beer has won international awards and is exported to several countries.

North Korea has its own operating system.

North Korea Has Its Own Operating System.

North Korea has developed its own operating system, Red Star OS, based on the open-source Linux platform.

The OS is heavily modified to monitor and control user activity and is designed to be difficult to hack or penetrate.

North Korea has a large number of military parades.

North Korea frequently holds military parades to showcase its military strength and power. The parades involve thousands of troops, tanks, missiles, and other military hardware, often attended by top government officials.

North Korea has its own space program.

Space Program

North Korea has made significant advances in space exploration and has launched several satellites into orbit.

However, the country’s space program is believed to be a cover for its ballistic missile development.

North Korea has a unique form of traditional Korean music.

Traditional Korean Music

North Korea has its own unique form of traditional Korean music, known as Joseon P’ungmul. The music features drums, gongs, and flutes and is often performed at traditional festivals and ceremonies.

North Korea has a mandatory military service requirement.

Mandatory Military Service Requirement in North Korea

All able-bodied North Korean men and women are required to serve in the military for several years. The military is one of the largest in the world, with more than 1 million active-duty troops.

North Korea has a strong emphasis on self-reliance.


The country’s ideology of Juche emphasizes self-reliance and self-sufficiency, which has led to a highly controlled and isolated economy. This philosophy is reflected in the country’s propaganda and policies.

North Korea has a complex system of social rankings.

North Koreans are classified into three main social classes based on their family’s political loyalty and social status.

This system can determine everything from job opportunities to the ability to travel or receive an education.

North Korea has a unique form of martial arts.

Martial Arts

North Korea has its own form of martial arts called Taekwon-Do, similar to the better-known South Korean version.

However, North Korea’s Taekwon-Do emphasizes the use of hand strikes over kicks and incorporates elements of military training.

North Korea has a limited number of foreign tourists.

While the country does allow foreign tourists to visit, it closely monitors and controls their movements and activities.

Tourists are typically restricted to guided tours of approved sites and cannot interact with locals.

North Korea has a significant gender gap.

Gender Gap in North Korea

Despite the country’s emphasis on gender equality, women in North Korea face significant barriers in education and employment.

They are also subject to strict social expectations and restrictions on their dress and behavior.

North Korea has a strong anti-Japanese sentiment.

North Korea deeply resents Japan due to its colonial rule over Korea from 1910 to 1945. This sentiment is reflected in the country’s propaganda and is a major source of tension between the two countries.

North Korea has a unique style of architecture.

Unique Architecture in North Korea

North Korea’s architecture is characterized by its grandiose, Stalinist-style buildings and monuments, many of which are dedicated to the ruling family.

The country also has a significant number of residential tower blocks, which are often criticized for their poor living conditions.

North Korea has a highly centralized government.

The country’s political system is highly centralized around the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, which controls all aspects of society. The country’s Supreme Leader holds absolute power and is considered infallible.

North Korea has a significant military-first policy.

Military-First Policy in North Korea

The country’s military is considered the backbone of its society and is given top priority regarding resources and funding.

This policy has been criticized for negatively impacting the country’s economy and social welfare programs.

In this article, we covered 34 amazing facts about North Korea. Keep learning!

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