Real North Korea Revealed: 30 Shocking Facts



North Korea ordered 1,000 Volvos from Sweden in 1974 and has yet to pay it off, resulting in a debt of 2.2 billion kronor ($322 million).

2. North Korea enlists around 2000 women as part of a 'Pleasure Squad'. These are attractive women who provide entertainment and sexual services for top officials. One defector says Kim Jong-il was "sentimental when drunk, and even shed tears."

3. In 2004-2005, North Korea had a show called "Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle" that was a part of a North Korean government propaganda campaign promulgating grooming and dress standards.

4. In North Korea, since every political candidate is chosen by the ruling party, there is only one name on a ballot. A voter may cross off the candidate's name to vote against him but must do so with a red pen next to the ballot box in sight of electoral officials.

5. North Korea is the only country to have been caught cheating twice at the International Mathematical Olympiad.

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6Drunk person

Drunk person

In 2011, a drunk North Korean man passed out on a wooden board to find himself in South Korea the next day as a flood washed him and the board to an island controlled by South Korea.

7. In 2012, a 14-year old North Korean girl named Han Hyon-Gyong drowned while trying to save portraits of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, and the government renamed her school after her.

8. Kim Jong-Il's eldest son, Kim Jong-Nam, was widely considered to be the heir apparent to the title of Supreme Leader of North Korea until he attempted to enter Japan with a fake passport so that he could go to Disneyland.

9. Kim Jong-Il's personal sushi chef Kenji Fujimoto escaped from North Korea in 2001 by telling the supreme leader he wanted to buy a sea urchin to cook for him. He subsequently wrote a memoir about his experiences with Kim Jong-Il.

10. In 2013, North Korea executed 80 people for secretly watching the ABC drama “Desperate Housewives” using mp3 players, hard drives, and DVDs.