So recently, a video went viral of some old North Koreans meeting their distant relatives in South Korea. While it reiterated the horrors of political separation of extended families and blood relation for half a century. They also are a poignant yet bitter reminder that the Korean Peninsula is still in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 fighting ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
None the less, let’s look at the mysterious Hermit Kingdom and some interesting facts you probably didn’t knew about.
- Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong Un, Current leader of DPRK. However, he was not meant to be.
His eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, once believed to be the designated heir, appeared to have fallen out of favour after being arrested in Tokyo in 2001 while travelling to Disneyland on a forged passport .
- Kim Jong Il also had a phobia of air flights, hence used to travel by train for most state visits.
His private train journeys were as luxurious as befitted a leader of North Korea, despite the millions left behind starving due to famine: one Russian emissary who travelled across Russia by train with Kim described how live lobsters were airlifted daily to his train. Yes, Daily.
- Guess which country has the largest stadium. No, it’s not Rio, London or NY! It’s Pyongyong.
The Rungnado May Day stadium has more than 150,000 seats and houses the extravagant Mass Games.
- Kijong-dong (Peace Village), that’s a town made exclusively for propaganda stuff so as to intimidate South Korea!
- There’s a famous South Korean film director, Shin Sang-ok. Kim Jong Il ordered kidnapping of him and his actress wife, Choi Eun-hee, in 1978 in order to build up North Korea’s film industry. They made seven films before escaping to the West in 1986.
- India is one of the largest trade partners with trade touching almost a billion dollars in exports!
Here’s the article on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0809/opinions-north-korea-india-blockade-heads-up.html
- The big one! North Korea is technically not a ‘Communist Nation’
It claims to operate under the “Juche” ideology, or “rejecting dependence on others, using one’s own brains, and believing in one’s own strength,”.
This might not technically be Communist but many of these ideas is from previous communist leaders.