7 surprising things you didn’t know about North Korea

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North Korea has a reputation for reclusivity, and is commonly called a “hermit kingdom” due to its reclusivity.
North Korea has one of the largest militaries in the world, employing approximately 4.7% of the total population.
Drug use is rampant with an estimated 30% of North Koreans using substances ranging from marijuana to methamphetamines.

Considering that North Korea — formally (and ironically) known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — is commonly referred to as a “hermit kingdom,” quite a lot is known about this reclusive, isolated nation of 25 million people.

Its recent ballistic missile tests made headlines around the globe, as have the tirades of its young leader, Kim Jong-un. Heartrending tales of the North Korean Famine of the 1990s still strike a chord today, while eccentric anecdotes about the three generations of DPRK leaders draw raised eyebrows.

Kim Jong-il, son of founder Kim Il-sung and father to the current head of state, is reported to have bowled a perfect 300 during his first game and to scored 38 under par playing golf, according to The Washington Post. He is also said to have written 1,500 books during his college years alone, The Telegraph reports.

While these outrageous stories are likely overblown propaganda, here are seven real facts about North Korea you probably don’t know that may reshape the way you think about this reclusive nation.

SEE ALSO: A new era of diplomatic relations with North Korea could be on the horizon — here’s what’s happened so far

1. North Korea ranks 51st in population, but has one of the largest standing militaries

CIA data ranks North Korea’s estimated 25 million-person population 51st out of the world’s nations. North Korea’s outsized military is among the most powerful in the world, boasting approximately 1,190,000 active-duty troops, according to Newsweek.

China, the world’s leader in both population (over 1.3 billion) and military size (2.3 million), has a military that employs about 0.18% of the population.

North Korea’s military, on the other hand, employs about 4.7% of the total population.

CIA data ranks North Korea’s estimated 25 million-person population 51st out of the world’s nations. North Korea’s outsized military is among the most powerful in the world, boasting approximately 1,190,000 active-duty troops, according to Newsweek.

China, the world’s leader in both population (over 1.3 billion) and military size (2.3 million), has a military that employs about 0.18% of the population.

North Korea’s military, on the other hand, employs about 4.7% of the total population.

2. Rollerblading is hugely popular, especially in Pyongyang

According to National Geographic photographer David Guttenfelder, rollerblading is popular “all over the country.” He reported that he couldn’t “count the number of rollerblading locations there are in the capital city [Pyongyang],” in particular.

3. Drugs are common and largely unregulated

Drug use in North Korea is largely unregulated and quite common, with an estimated 30% of North Koreans using drugs, UPI reports. Known locally as yeoksam, marijuana is grown in such quantity that smugglers …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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