When someone has absolute power, their policies can only get more repressive and erratic the longer they have it. And this is definitely the case when we look at the Kim family's 67-year (at present) reign over the so-called Democratic Republic of Korea.
In that time, we've seen each member of the Kim dynasty enjoy opulent, pampered lives while their people starve and live under the constant threat of imprisonment, torture, and execution for daring to speak out against them. Their absolute power has allowed them to commit a galling array of human rights violations, but it's also had a different, stranger effect.
When someone has absolute power, they don't have a sounding board for their ideas. When everyone is too afraid to speak out against you, there's nobody left to tell you that claiming to discover a unicorn lair doesn't make any sense and will make you look like a laughingstock.
And it's this strange insulation from any ideas that challenge their own that made the Kim family responsible for these 15 bizarre facts about North Korea.
North Korean citizens aren't allowed to celebrate a birthday that falls on July 8th or December 17th.
This is because these are the death dates of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, respectively. It's difficult to find information about this in English, but it seems that the North Korean government requires any citizens born on these days to celebrate displaced birthdays, which usually end up being the day after.
The North Korean space program bears the initials NADA.
Yes, as in the Spanish word for "nothing." The name made for an easy running joke to describe their disastrous output, but their Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3-2 satellite did successfully reach orbit in 2012 and can be tracked today. Whether it's fully functional, however, isn't clear to some international experts.
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