Brief Facts About North Korea

While North Korea has the reputation of being closed off to the rest of the world, while a repressive regime tries to control the people, North Korea is actually a country just like any other and can also be visited. Everyone there lives normal lives, and you will find many of the usual sites that any city would have: cafes, restaurants, bars, trains, parks, monuments, and so on. They have a very strong cultural identity, and there are many cultural and historical sites that one can visit to discover more about their rich culture.

  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea, sits in East Asia between Russia, China, and South Korea. The Sea of Japan borders North Korea in the east, with Korea Bay and the Yellow Sea in the west.
  • Paektu, Baekdu, or Changbai Mountain is an active volcano on the border between North Korea and China. At 2,744 m (9,003 ft), it is the highest mountain of the Changbai and Baekdudaegan ranges. It is also the highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula and in northeastern China. A large crater lake, called Heaven Lake, is in the caldera atop the mountain.
  • Kijong-Dong is a propaganda city of North Korea that was originally built in the 1950s by Kim Jong Il’s father right on the border. It houses the world’s largest flagpole, complete with a 300lb North Korean flag.
  • Every North Korean household and business is outfitted with a government controlled radio that cannot be turned off, only turned down.
  • It’s not 2014 in North Korea. North Korea bases its calendar on Kim Il-Sung’s date of birth: 15 April 1912, not Jesus.
  • North Korea is almost entirely government-planned, state-owned economy.
  • North Korea has the world’s largest stadium. The Rungnado May Day stadium has more than 150,000 seats and houses the extravagant Mass Games.
  • The Juche Tower (more formally, Tower of the Juche Idea) is a monument in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, named after the ideology of Juche introduced by its first leader Kim Il-Sung. Completed in 1982, the Tower is situated on the eastern bank of the River Taedong, directly opposite Kim Il Sung Square on the western side of the river to commemorate Kim Il-Sung’s 70th birthday.
  • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, formerly the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, and sometimes referred to as the Kim Il-sung Mausoleum, is a building near the northeast corner of the city of Pyongyang that serves as the mausoleum for Kim Il-sung, the founder and eternal president of North Korea, and for his son Kim Jong-il who succeeded him as the country’s ruler.7
  • North Korea has three “People’s Pleasure Grounds”. Pyongyang has three fun fairs, some with less than optimal rides and technology.

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