17 Mindblowing Facts About North Korea

Everyone’s heard about North Korea, the hermit kingdom that hangs off the southeast corner of China.

Condoleezza Rice called it an “outpost of tyranny“. George W. Bush said it was one-third of the “axis of evil“. And now James Franco and Seth Rogen are releasing a comedy about it, much to Pyongyang’s disapproval.

Despite all of that, we really don’t know that much about North Korea. But what we do know is rather mindblowing.

North Korea has a 100% literacy rate.

The CIA defines literacy as 'age 15 and over can read and write'.

According to that definition, the literacy rate is 100%.

Source: CIA

There are 28 state approved haircuts.

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)'.

Source: Time

Additionally, he reportedly owned 20,000 video tapes. That's about 137 years of movies.

Kim Jong-il was a 'film buff' who reportedly owned 20,000 video tapes. His favourite are reported to have been Rambo, Friday the 13th, Godzilla and 'The Eternal Bosom of Hot Love'.

To simplify, we said that movies are on average 90 minutes long. That means that 20,000 tapes is about 137 years of movies.

Source: The Telegraph

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

But they ultimately lost 2-1.

Source: FIFA

North Korea is about the same size as Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is 46,055.24 square miles, which is 119,283 square km.

North Korea is 120,538 square km.

Source: CIA

However, less than 20% of its land is arable. That's about the size of New Jersey.

19.08% of North Korea's land is arable. That's about 8879.83 square miles. New Jersey is 8722.58 square miles.

You can see the size comparison of New Jersey to Pennsylvania to the right.

Source: CIA

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

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.

Source: USA Today

North Korea has the fourth largest standing army in the world.

It is estimated that the North Korean army has approximately 1.190 million men in their army. The United States has approximately 1.369 million.

Source: Wikipedia

The total amount of people available for military service in North Korea is approximately equal to the population of Senegal.

There are 6.515 million males available for military service and 6.418 million females available. Collectively, that's 12.933 million.

The population of Senegal is 13.3 million.

Source: CIA

Meanwhile, only 2.83% of the roads in North Korea are paved.

There are a total of 25,554 km of roads in North Korea, but only 724 km are paved.

Source: CIA

The roads altogether could circle Mercury 1.5 times. But the paved roads would only cover the distance between New York and Cleveland.

The total roads are 25,554 km. The circumference of Mercury is 15,329 km.

The distance between Cleveland and New York is 463 miles. There are 724 km of paved roads in North Korea, which is approximately 450 miles.

Source: CIA

6 million North Koreans are in need of food and 33% of children are chronically malnourished.

The CIA report states that 23.4% of North Korea's GDP is composed of agriculture. This includes rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses, cattle, pigs, pork, and eggs.

However, 6 million people are in need of food according to the World Food Programme.

Source: CIA

The North Korean GDP is only half of the richest man in the world's net worth.

The richest man in the world is Carlos Slim Helú. His net worth is $US79.9 billion.

North Korea's GDP is estimated to be $US40 billion.

Source: CIA

Qatar's GDP per capita is 57 times the North Korean GDP per capita.

Qatar's GDP per capita is $US102,100. This is the highest GDP per capita.

North Korea's GDP per capita is $US1,800.

Source: CIA

North Korea is the most corrupt country in the world -- tied with Afghanistan and Somalia.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is released annually. In 2013 North Korea, Somalia, and Afghanistan were named the most corrupt nations.

A score between 0 (highly corrupt) and 100 (very clean) is given to 177 countries and territories. North Korea scored an 8.

Source: CPI 2013

Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas flips a calf in the tie-down roping event, July 14, 2013.

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