North Korea, to an outsider this secretive state, doesn’t really make a lot of sense, in fact, to prove this point quite a few activities and pleasures, most of us indulge in on a daily basis are off-limits in Kim Jong Un’s country.
From clothing to haircuts to travel, the state controls pretty much everything. step out of line in North Korea and as you’ll see the man will come and take you away.
So comrade, be sure to pay attention to the following.
every year, millions of people take a break from work and head out on vacation. if you’re like us, even a weekend road trip can be a nice way to briefly escape the office or the bustle of the city.
Hopping in the car, you can drive pretty much anywhere, on any Highway or down any side road as you explore the vast countryside.
In fact, traveling around and taking pictures of pretty much anything is a standard and legal activity.
This is not the case in North Korean tourists who travel to the authoritarian state are not free to do what they want.
you are allowed to travel only down permitted roads and always with some form of the guide who is sanctioned by the government.
see a nice landscape you’d like to take a picture of? don’t even think about it.
odds are anything with a camera was confiscated before you left the hotel, and taking pictures of most things in North Korea is off-limits.AdvertisementAd
Stray from the state permitted travel routes or snap some unsanctioned photos and you’ll likely be fined and spend a good chunk of your time being questioned if you’re lucky.
Freedom of religion is something most of us take for granted. after all, you can go to a church pretty much anytime, anywhere.
You can carry your own copy of religious texts like a Bible or Koran, and even talk openly about religion to others in your home or in a public place.
This is something that is totally legal in common in most countries. Then, there’s North Korea since the state is officially communist it should also be a theist and cared little about religion.
Over the past decade, more than one person has been arrested and imprisoned for religious reasons.
For instance, visiting pastors have been held because they were believed to be trying to convert North Koreans or spread dissent.
One man was even arrested and held after he left a Bible in a nightclub. experts agree that the North Korean leadership views religion as a threat to its control over the people.
Therefore, any discussion of God or religious teachings is seen as potentially destabilizing to the rule of the country.
Even if you’re not the religious type, odds are that during certain holidays you throw up a few decorations.
Take Christmas as an example, well this winter festivity is based on religion many families celebrate the season by throwing up a Christmas tree, covering the house and lights and maybe putting an inflatable snowman or two up in the front yard.
In the United States, activities like this won’t get you locked up.
In fact, they even have competitions to see who can be the most outrageous. As you can imagine, North Korea is a far different story.
Real-life Grinch Kim Jeong-hoon took it upon himself to ban Christmas.
Any lights, any trees, and any sort of manger scenes will likely end up with you going to jail.
Have no fear, however, Kim replaced the Christmas festivities with a new holiday.
Instead of good old st. Nick in Jesus, late December is now the time of year the state allows people to celebrate Kim jong-suk, the grandmother of the current leader.
Conveniently, she just happened to be born on Christmas Eve so there’s no need to reschedule
When it comes time to update your wardrobe or you just feel like buying some new clothes at the mall, we bet some of your time is spent trying on new jeans.
Whether for daily wear or even work, jeans are definitely an important part of Western culture and fashion.
You likely don’t even think twice about buying and wearing a pair of these rather common pieces of clothing.
In fact, the only time there are remotely any legal issues involving jeans is when the fashion police need to be called in because that tub does not go with those pants.AdvertisementAd
Anyway, North Korea doesn’t have that problem. Jeans are just plain illegal in this Asian country.
Everyone’s wearing dresses that look like they are from the 40s, worker outfits or military uniforms.
Not a pair of jeans to be seen, this is because jeans are a symbol of America and all its evil.
Where a pair of these imperialist pants into North Korea and we bet you get thrown in jail and have your jeans confiscated.
we bet being in a North Korean Jail with no pants is a rather unpleasant experience.
Being able to turn on the television and have access to hundreds of channels is something most of us take for granted.
Most of the channels are terrible, and we never watch them, but still, having that level of choice is nice.
In fact, many providers offer a wide range of foreign channels from French to Portuguese.
Nothing illegal about that. If you find the choice overwhelming and hate keeping track of more than a few channels, well then maybe North Korea is for you.
It’s reported that the state runs just four channels, so the option of what you’re watching tonight will be pretty simple.
Most of the coverage is state-sanctioned news and propaganda. But if you’re lucky you might catch one of the educational segments covering the life of Kim Jong-hoon or his relatives.
If this gets tiresome don’t bother trying to get South Korean television signals, or bootleg copies of programs in the black market these are illegal.
Get caught with any programming from outside the country and you’ll face fines, demotions and hard labor as punishment.
We use the internet for news and entertainment and with smartphones, we can even call anyone, anywhere at pretty much anytime.
Nothing illegal about that. We think you know where we’re going with this one.
Given North Korean leaders are desperate to control what information gets in and out of the country.
Telephones, smartphones, and the Internet are kept under incredibly strict control.
In fact, there is no real internet in North Korea as no one can log on and enter the worldwide web.
Instead, there is a government-created and controlled the entire web, which allows people to access government-approved content.
We imagine this means there are no cute YouTube videos of cats and dogs just endless images of the Dear Leader visiting military units and watching missile launches.
Officials actually tell the people that this is so that citizens in South Korea don’t get embarrassed by how awesome North Korea is.
Additionally, even if you see something awesome online you can’t call a friend about it because your phone is closely monitored.
Sending or receiving a call across the border is a serious crime and likely to end with you in prison after being accused of spying.
Passing away is a natural part of life. whether family members or celebrities, when someone goes it can be a sad time.
Naturally, we enter a period of mourning, and that can be a bit different for everyone. However, there are no laws or legal obligations that we must stick to during this time.
In North Korea, imagine having people watching you during a period of mourning and judging whether you are sad enough or not.
Apparently that happens. When a major political figure in the North kicks the bucket it’s usually a pretty major event that is highly choreographed.
After the passing of Kim Jong Un‘s father, Kim jong-il the nation observed a set period of mourning.
However, it also saw some strange unofficial laws come into effect.
For instance, if you weren’t visibly upset enough there was actually a chance you could get sent to a prison camp.
There was also a report that unofficial drinking was passed during the period of mourning. Those who were caught drinking or arrested imprisoned or even faced worse fates.
Whether you’re into it or not, there’s no denying that adult content is legal in most countries in the Western world.
You can buy magazines and convenience stores there are dedicated video stores for that genre of film and don’t even get us started on the selection of toys.
Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s even an ever-growing section of erotic novels.
You aren’t going to go walking down the street reading the latest adult magazine or pop in a movie at work, but it’s not like you’re going to get arrested and sent to a labor camp for looking at most of that stuff.
Try any of this in North Korea, however, and you are in big trouble. Anything related to pornography is completely banned and the police will definitely take you away if you’re caught with it.
Even one of Kim Jong un’s girlfriends wasn’t immune to the law in this instance. accused of making a racy bedroom tape Kim’s ex was made to disappear for quite some time.
We’re sure it had nothing to do with the fact that she was famous for her hit song ‘’excellent horse-like lady’.’ You can’t make this stuff up.
Leaving the country
If packed your bags, plotted out which country you plan to move to and are all ready to leave. There’s just one massive problem you aren’t allowed to leave.
Well in countries like the United States, travel within and outside the country is permitted, but in North Korea, the state controls all travel.
Anyone leaving must gain explicit permission and that is usually limited to government workers and anyone with ties to official North Korean business.
The government doesn’t want its regular citizens to leave for some reason.
It would be impossible to track the whereabouts and activities of so many people outside of the country, and once outside North Korea, the government has no control over what people read, see or do.
Having witnessed North Korean citizens and officials defecting or trying to seek asylum in foreign embassies, the state is pretty much willing to put you in a gulag if it will stop you from trying to leave.
The next time you head out onto the street today, try picking out how many different hairstyles you can see on different people.
From shaved heads to shaggy hair to interesting dye jobs, we bet you can’t keep track of all the various styles.
Employers in North Korea don’t have to worry about dealing with any job applicants who are sporting outrageous dues.
Kim jong-hoon has stipulated that there are 28 allowable haircuts. There are 18 and 10 state-sanctioned styles for women and men respectively.
If you think that sounds limiting, it gets even worse when you know that married women have even less choice as they are instructed to keep their hair short.
Single ladies, however? well, you can go wild by having shoulder-length hair; interestingly enough, nowhere on the state-sanctioned list do we see Kim Jong Un’s hairstyle.