North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom

March 29, 2020, The Liberacy:- North Korea, The Hermit Kingdom, also known as the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), is the country, now most talked about, hidden from the world for most of its history. Located in the northern half part of the Korean peninsula, between the Korean Bay and the Sea of Japan (East Sea), it shares a border with China, Russia, and South Korea.
There are Japanese in the East and Americans on the land of South Korea.
Under its current leader Kim Jong Un, DPRK is facing several sanctions, only to loosen its grip over Nuclear Tests, that greatly threaten its long time enemy South Korea, Japan, and the USA.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, is the 3rd generation leader after Kim-il-Sung and Kim-Jong-il.

North Korea
North Korea

How is North Korea different from others?

North Korea is divided into 3 types of administration system under 9 provinces. with “Pyongyang” as its capital.
It has a population of about 25 million, with 99% Koreans and others include Chinese, Japanese and Americans.
“North Korean Won” is their standard currency.
It is completely a Police State, with an expenditure of around 23% of its GDP on the military, with “Sungun Jung-Ji” that is their ‘Military First Policy’

North Korea uses its own calendar known as “Juche Calendar”, the date of the calendar starts on April 15, 1912, i.e the birth date of their former and first supreme leader, Kim-il-Sung.

It is mandatory for every place to have photographs of Kim-il-Sung and Kim-Jong-il hanged at walls and people pay their respect to the leaders at monuments built in their memory. (Images of monuments at the bottom of this article)

North Korea has the world’s 4th largest army, behind China, USA & India.
They consider west as their enemy (especially USA)
They have restrictions on Clothing, Website, Media. Drinks, Music, Domestic Travel, International Travel, Magazines, LGBT and so on.

They have heavy restrictions on religious texts of other religions, though their constitution provides ‘Religious Freedom’. There are approximately 300000-500000 Christian living presently in the country.

Only privileged people live in the capital “Pyongyang” who has special skills in different fields and knows to play at least one musical instrument.

They have government-approved 28 haircuts, out of which you cannot style your hair, for both Men and Woman. Leader Kim Jong Un has a unique cut that is not in the 28 approved cuts.

It has only one international airport, Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (IATA: FNJ), though there are other two domestic airports named, i) Hamhung Toskan Airport & ii) Chongjin Orang Airport.
– It has the deepest metro system in the world, with a depth of 110 meters.
Hamhung is the only Industrial city in the State.
– Beautiful beaches at Wonsan are accessible only if you are privileged and lucky enough to have permission from the authorities.
– Recently, in 2015, this Hermit kingdom adopted its local time zone at +8:30 i.e 30 minutes behind Japan and South Korea.

It has around 800-1500 hidden underground facilities, that are mostly used as a fighter base and missile storage and testing operations.

North Korea is 80% mountainous, with the highest peak as Hamgyong and Nang-Lim. It has an active volcano “Mount Barkdy” which is also called ‘Heaven Lake’, It shares a border here with China.
“Taedong River” flows through the capital Pyongyang.
North Koreas have a less meat-eating population, it is considered as a luxury to be used on special occasions.
We all know that North Korea believes in the “Isolation” policy, which made them a little bit of a self-reliant nation, which is promoted by the policy called “Juche” (Self Reliance) promoted by their former supreme leaders, Kim-il-Sung and Kim-Jong-il.
Though being self-reliant, North Korea has China and Russia as its major suppliers of Gas and goods.

North Korea’s Relations with the World.

1) South Korea.

North Korea’s relation with South Korea is like a cop-thief twin brother, who happens to love each other but hate each other’s ideologies.
North Korea is a state economy and an ally of Russia whereas, South Korea, touching the Capitalist approach and a close ally of USA and Japan.

The border between North and South is divided by 250 km long Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) also known as 38th Parallel.
The two forces are near close to each other at, “Panmunjom Joint Security Area” which also happens to be a tourist spot.

On Sunday, June 25, 1950, North Korea crossed the borders and attacked South Korea to gain the accession of the land, and in 3 months pushed the South Korean and American forces, limiting them to “Busan.”
The US and UN then retaliated and pushed the North Korean forces up far north of their land. In an agreement, in 1954, DMZ was established.

2) The United States of America.

The Korean peninsula, during the height of World War 2, was occupied by Japan. But, after the defeat, the Japanese left and was from then occupied by Russia in the North and USA in the South.
This made the USA a natural ally of South Korea, which led to the stretched tensions with North Korea.
Even now, the children in North Korea are taught that Americans are their Enemies.

3) China.

North Korea shares a border with China’s “Liaoning” & “Jilin” province and has 3 border crossing with China at, i) Sino-Korean friendship bridge, ii) Ji’an Yalu river railway & iii) New Yalu river.
Gas and Petroleum pipelines from China run through “Dadong” border into the country.
China is an ally of North Korea and its biggest supplier of Goods.

4) Russia.

North Korea shares a 17 km long border with Russia, which is also a tri-junction border between Russia, China, and North Korea.
Friendship Bridge connects Russia and North Korea, and only these two nationalities people are allowed to take the bridge.
From North Korea to Vladivostok and to Russia is the world’s longest train route. This journey might take up to 9 days to complete.

5) Others.

– Though in tensions, North Korea has a 3rd party agreement with the USA for private business to work in North Korea.
The United Kingdom has an embassy in North Korea.
– African nations such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia have statues built by North Korean and Senegal has the Largest statue of Africa, which was again built by North Korea.
Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are North Korea’s natural communist allies, though these nations have adopted a capitalist approach.

There is much less information about the Nation, as they have an isolation policy, but it will be interesting to see if they ever open up to the world and allow foreigners to move freely in their country.

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