Top 10 Everyday Things Banned in North Korea

By | October 4, 2015

Kim Jong-Un has executed 70 government officials since he took power in late 2011. His father Kim Jong-Il had executed only 10 officials when he was four years into his rule. It is arguable that the totalitarian regime is weaker than it used to be and Kim Jong-un is holding onto power by a small thread. Despite the rumours, here are ten things that are still banned in North Korea and may get people executed.


North Korea

1. Watching Television

Citizens are forbidden to watch anything other than state propaganda. In the last 3 years, North Korea has publicly executed around 170 people for watching South Korean TV. In 2014, it was reported that 10 North Korean officials were publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas. While some people are believed to be secretly streaming those “soap operas” over the internet, others are smuggling them into the country via DVDs, video cassettes and memory sticks sold to them on the black market.


2. Practicing Religion

Atheist North Korea has ‘Freedom of Religious Belief’. Inspite of that, they’ve tortured thousands for their faiths. North Korea is officially an atheist state and government policy continues to interfere with the individual’s ability to choose and to manifest his or her religious belief. The only idol the people of North Korea are allowed to cherish is the supreme leader – Kim Jong-un. In 2013,  the Kim Jong-un regime murdered 80 people whose “crimes” reportedly included minor infractions such as owning a Bible.


3. Drinking Alcohol

North Koreans can only drink on special holidays and students face interrogation if they are caught. In 2012, a Military Officer was killed with a mortar for drinking during the 100 day mourning period of Kim Jong-Il. In 2013 a North Korean military officer was executed for disrespecting late Kim Jong-il by drinking alcohol during the 100-day mourning period.


4. Driving

Citizens are banned from freely moving around their country – there is less than 1 car per 1000 people. However, Senior Officials are chauffeured in extravagant cars to flaunt their political commitment.


5. Playing Music

All music in North Korea is controlled by the state and must glorify the regime. Decadent Western Music is a ‘Crime against the State’ and playing it will get you killed


6. International Calls

Telephone numbers in North Korea are regulated by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. Communication with the outside world will get you the Death Penalty. In 2013, a North Korean man was publicly executed by firing squad for calling his friend in South Korea. In 2007, a factory manager was gunned down in a sports stadium in South Pyongan province after authorities claimed he installed 13 telephones in a basement to reach the outside world. Another 6 people were crushed to death and 34 others injured in an apparent stampede to leave the stadium after the execution.


7. Talking About The Government

Citizens caught criticizing or discussing the North Korean Government will be sent to ‘Re-Education Camps’. Prisoners will endure hard labor and ideological indoctrination to relearn the values of the regime.


8. Travelling Abroad

The Ultimate Crime is for a North Korean to leave their Country. Defectors flee to China for Refuge but if they are caught by authorities they ll be forcibly returned for execution.


9. Porn

Viewing or Selling Pornography can also get you the death penalty as punishment. In 2013, Leader Kim Jong-Un had his Ex-Girlfriend executed in front of her family for making a sex tape.


10. Surfing The Internet

North Korea’s State-Run Internet is pure Propaganda & can only be used with authorization.

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