North Korea: 8 Surprising Facts

From nuclear missile experiments to barbaric executions and beyond, North Korea is a frequent sight on world headlines. And after years of this news and articles, it would appear like most of us would know nothing about North Korea. Here are a few outs of more than 300 random facts there is to know about the Hermit Kingdom.

North Korea has the biggest stadium in the world.

North Korea has the biggest stadium in the world with a seating capacity that is more than the second-largest Stadium, Ann Arbor’s stadium, which accommodates 107,600 spectators.

The venue is used occasionally for sporting activities, although its primary function is to host the yearly Arirang Fest, a major event held every month of September and August that celebrates North Korean heritage, traditions, and accomplishments.

Drugs are surprisingly unregulated

Surprisingly, marijuana is legalized in their nation and is not yet labeled as narcotics. Meantime, the state deliberately urges their citizens to cultivate opium. On the other hand,

methamphetamine is prohibited that when found in possession, you can be executed by firing squad. 

As confusing as it sounds, North Korea is actually regarded as a prominent dealer of meth! The state has recently prohibited the usage of this substance and is trying to separate the nation from its history of making money from meth.

North Korea has one of the biggest standing armies.

North Korea is projected to have a population of 25 million and is 51st in the ranking. China, the world’s dominating in both people (more than 1.3B) and military force (2.3M), has an army that has workers only 0.18 percent of the country. The North Korean army, on the other side, has workers around 4.7 percent of the overall size.

The State Has to Approve Your Haircut

That’s correct! There are 28 legally accepted haircuts. So, if you’re a resident, you don’t have much of a choice. The state advises married ladies to wear their hair short, whereas single ladies are allowed longer hair types. If you’re a male, you can only grow your hair until 5 cm only except if you’re above a specific age; otherwise, you can go up to 7 cm up.

State Pick Your Career – For Life

You are given a job for life after you quit school in North Korea. The government determines how many workers are expected in a growing sector and creates employment accordingly. You are not given the opportunity to decide who you want to be or what you want to do – you’re stuck with the same work for the rest of your life. Throughout North Korea, the regular working week is 112 hours which will tire you out before you could even start a new week. 

Families split by Abduction could be reunited annually

Conflicts among North and South Korea are possibly not aided by the number of South Koreans kidnapped and imprisoned in North Korea. However, there is assistance in the form of an amusement park, which involves the Meeting Hall for a divided family. It is where South Koreans can visit their loved ones every year requiring them to pay first.

Elite families can only enter Pyongyang

All Pyongyang people are regarded as honest residents who are faithful to the government. Kim Jong Un and the government determine when and whether anyone is capable of staying in the city. Life in Pyongyang is quite distinct, and as of 2018, there are also restaurants selling foreign cuisine, like burgers and pizza.

There are currently three TV stations

KCTV is the primary channel and is accessible throughout the nation. The rest are not accessible during the weekends. South Korean operas are very famous and are unlawfully transmitted or smuggled through. But, once the government found out about this, the sentence may be as severe as death.


There are a lot of things to know more about North Korea. Traveling there will definitely put a lot of things into perspective and might come off as a culture shock to you. More stories from North Korea can only be found within its borders if you have the curiosity to explore. Some facts might surprise you of what you already know, and some facts might be unbelievable to even apprehend.  Well, that’s for you to find out.