16 fascinating facts about North Korea

Picture: Getty Images

Everyone’s heard a thing or two about North Korea, the “hermit kingdom” that sits on the east coast of China.

North Korea frequently makes headlines as its government continues to tout its military hardware and make boisterous, but so far benign, nuclear threats.

The country has been linked to several cyber-related incidents lately, but it denies involvement.

Still, the one thing that remains a bit of a mystery is what goes on inside the hermit kingdom as data isn’t readily available or reliable. But check out below some of the things we do know about what makes the country tick:

North Korea recently created its own time zone: Pyongyang Standard Time.

Starting August 15, the country now goes by Pyongyang Time, which will bring back the country to the time zone used on the Korean peninsula before Japanese rule.

The late Kim Jong Il’s annual cognac expense was 800 times the average North Korean’s annual income.

Picture: Getty Images

Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un, reportedly spent £700,000 on Hennessy each year. That’s about $US1.2 million.

The average annual income in North Korea is estimated to be between $US1,000 and $US2,000. We used $US1,500 in our calculation.

It costs $8,000 to defect from North Korea.

Picture: Getty Images

Since Kim Jong Un took power, it has gotten more expensive to defect from the hermit kingdom.

It costs about $8,000 to get to China, which is way more than the average North Korean can afford, considering the GDP per capita is $1,800.

North Koreans born after the Korean War are about 2 inches shorter than South Koreans on average.

Picture: Paramount Pictures

This height difference is attributed to the fact that 6 million North Koreans are in need of food, and one-third of children are chronically malnourished.

North Korea says it has a 100% literacy rate.

The CIA says literate people are those age 15 and over who can read and write.

There are 28 state-approved haircuts.

Kim Jong-un and hair. Photo: Getty / File

According to Time, ‘Women are allowed to choose one of 14 styles; married women are instructed to keep their tresses short, while the single ladies are allowed let loose with longer, curlier locks.’

Men are ‘prohibited from growing their hair longer than 5 cm — less than 2 inches — while older men can get away with up to 7 cm (3 inches).’

Bill Gates’ net worth is an estimated five times greater than North Korea’s GDP.

Trading economics estimates North Korea’s GDP at $15.45 billion. (There is no official figure listed at the World Bank.)

If North Korea’s capital were a US city, it would be the fourth-most-populous one.

Picture: Getty Images

Theoretically, it would bump the actual fourth-most-populous US city, Houston, with a population of 2.23 million, down to fifth place.

North Korea scored a goal against Brazil in the 2010 World Cup.

Picture: Getty Images

But they lost, 2-1.

North Korea could fit into the Northern Territory.

North Korea is 120,538 square kilometres.

However, less than 20% of its land is arable. That’s about a quarter of Tasmania.

Only 19.5% of North Korea’s land is arable. That’s 22,000 square kilometres.

The number of people available for military service in North Korea is half the population of Australia.

This is a re-enaction. This is not real. Picture: Getty Images

The population of Norway is about 23 million.

Only 2.83% of the roads in North Korea are paved.

There are 25,554 kilometres of roads in North Korea, but only 724 kilometres are paved.

In fact, while all of North Korea’s roads could circle Mercury 1.5 times, the paved roads alone would not stretch from Sydney and Byron Bay.

Picture: Getty Images

The distance between Sydney and Byron Bay is 800 kilometres. There are about 720 kilometres paved roads in North Korea.

Qatar’s GDP per capita is more than 51 times that of North Korea.

North Korea’s estimated GDP per capita in 2013 was $US1,800.

North Korea was named the most corrupt country in the world — tied with Somalia.

Picture: Getty Images

The Corruption Perceptions Index is released annually. In 2014, North Korea was named the most corrupt nation, tied with Somalia.

A score between 0 (highly corrupt) and 100 (very clean) was given to 174 countries and territories.

North Korea scored an 8.

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