North Korea

Conditions in North Korea so bad even the wildlife are making a break for it 【Video】

Conditions in North Korea so bad even the wildlife are making a break for it 【Video】

Apparently unsatisfied with North Korea’s delectable, super power-bestowing mushrooms, and finding very little else in the way of sustenance, a desperate tiger was recently caught on camera making the treacherous swim across the Yalu River from North Korea towards China.

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North Korean defector describes her crazy escape and adjustment to modern life

North Korean defector describes her crazy escape and adjustment to modern life

Life inside a communist country with a controlling dictator for a leader is not only suffocating and dangerous; it’s also vastly different from life in developed countries elsewhere across the globe.

Joo Yang, who defected from North Korea in 2010, did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit Wednesday and explained what it was like to leave the oppressive country and experience life in the outside world.

North Korean defectors have to escape the country covertly. Some of them were basically brainwashed by propaganda growing up — one defector who spoke to UK newspaper The Independent said she was raised to believe that Kim Jong-il was a god who could read her mind.

Yang joined her family in South Korea in 2011. An NGO helped her travel through a “modern-day underground railroad” to escape North Korea.

Here are some of the observations she made about life in North Korea versus life on the outside:

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North Korea “invents” performance-enhancing drink from mushrooms, Nintendo lawyers remain silent

North Korea “invents” performance-enhancing drink from mushrooms, Nintendo lawyers remain silent

In North Korea‘s latest desperate attempt for attention from the rest of the civilized world, the dictatorship – perhaps tired of tossing missiles around for now – bragged through state media that its scientists have discovered a way to extract enzymes from a certain mushroom grown in the region to create a miracle super drink that makes athletes better, faster and stronger.

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Rodman’s Japanese successor? Pyongyang to host international wrestling tournament

Rodman’s Japanese successor? Pyongyang to host international wrestling tournament

Move over Dennis Rodman–it looks like you’ve got a serious Japanese successor for all of your sports diplomacy. North Korea’s state news agency announced on May 19 that Japan’s Antonio Inoki, a retired Japanese professional wrestler, will be teaming up with officials in the reclusive totalitarian state to host an international professional wrestling tournament in Pyongyang this August. The tournament will also include athletes from two nations that have never participated in a wrestling event in North Korea under Kim Jong-un’s leadership. Find out how all this came to be after the jump.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to star in upcoming run ‘n’ gun video game based on his life

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to star in upcoming run ‘n’ gun video game based on his life

We are all of course familiar with the story of how North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, single-handedly defeated the entire US military with the aid of his magical flaming unicorn and 12-foot vertical leaping skills. I don’t know about you all, but every time I hear about it, I can’t help wishing I could be as bad-ass as he is and experience the same such heroics.

Now the wishing is over, however, thanks to Glorious Leader!, an upcoming game for PC and smartphone by indie developer Moneyhorse. In it, players pilot the plump despot through seven levels of hard running, hard jumping, hard shooting, and hard unicorn riding action.

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Kim Jong-Unhealthy? Media reports North Korean leader stress eating, “getting fat”

Kim Jong-Unhealthy? Media reports North Korean leader stress eating, “getting fat”

Usually it’s the Hollywood starlets and sea monsters that get scrutinized for every centimeter their waist expands, but this week, it’s North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who is under the fat-o-scope.

Free North Korea Radio is reporting the diminutive dictator has ballooned by about 20 kilos (44 pounds) since he became top dog, lending credence to rumors that he has been gorging himself on food and booze to deal with the stress of running his country and executing family and friends.

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North Korea calls US the ‘World’s Worst Human Rights Abuser’

North Korea calls US the ‘World’s Worst Human Rights Abuser’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) guides the multiple-rocket launching drill of women’s sub-units under KPA Unit 851, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

North Korea called the United States “a living hell” while offering a comprehensive listing of criticisms against the country it called “the world’s worst human rights abuser” in a news report from state-run media Wednesday.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

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If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

For everyone dreaming of the chance to visit North Korea, you’re in luck. There is now an app for that

The North Korea Travel app, released on Wednesday, promises to be the most comprehensive guide ever created for tourists to the Hermit Kingdom.

The app, which will be available through both the App Store and Google play, will feature information on over 350 locations throughout the country. Each location will feature “Tour Guide Tips” provided by Simon Cockerell, who works in the North Korea travel industry and has visited the country over 120 times.

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8 ways Kim Jong-Un has blindsided the US

8 ways Kim Jong-Un has blindsided the US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guides a flight training of KPA Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 188, honored with the title of O Jung Hup-led Seventh Regiment on Monday, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, April 22, 2014.

When Kim Jong-un took power in December 2011, many experts saw his ascent as an opportunity for the West to transform the last bastion of hard-line communism, believing that the untested leader would shy away from confrontation with the U.S. and even South Korea.

Instead, North Korea’s leader — believed to be about 30 years old — has “proved to be more ruthless, aggressive and tactically skilled than anyone expected,” Peter Sanger of The New York Times reports.

Here are a few things North Korea’s supreme leader has done in the past 18 months to surprise and unnerve the U.S.:

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America admits it has no idea what Kim Jong-un is doing

America admits it has no idea what Kim Jong-un is doing

Almost all of the conventional wisdom from American intelligence agencies about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been wrong, Peter Sanger of The New York Times reports.

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The incredible isolation of North Korea — In one map

The incredible isolation of North Korea — In one map

North Korea is often referred to as “The Hermit Kingdom” in the west — and one map demonstrates why.

The website MarineTraffic displays live data of cargo ships over 299 gross tonnage, and while South Korean ports of Incheon, Busan, and Ulsan are bustling with activity, shipboard cargo movement in the North barely registers, despite the country having eight major seaports.

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North Korean media sinks even lower, calls South Korean leader a “repulsive wench”

North Korean media sinks even lower, calls South Korean leader a “repulsive wench”

Barely a week after branding her a “blabbering peasant woman,” North Korea has labelled South Korean leader Park Geun-hye a “repulsive wench” via its state-run media. Not only that, but the same quoted source also alluded to the fact that the president has no children of her own, and said that she “makes a mockery of sacred motherhood.”

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Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

A joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea has freaked out North Korean leadership.

The annual drill, named Foal Eagle, runs from Feb. 24 to April 18 and features Marines from both countries.

North Korea views the drill as a possible threat and has responded by ratcheting up its own military rhetoric.

Further, The Hermit Kingdom has announced military drills of its own, and launched hundreds of missiles toward a disputed maritime border with South Korea. The country has also promised a new kind of nuclear test in response.

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Is North Korea really forcing its young men to get Kim Jong-un’s haircut? Probably not…

Is North Korea really forcing its young men to get Kim Jong-un’s haircut? Probably not…

When it comes to North Korea it is almost impossible to tell the difference between truth and rumor. And, you know, the reclusive country really has to shoulder some of the blame here–it’s hard to do fact checking when your subject responds to questions with poorly aimed missile launches!

However, when news broke last week that Pyongyang was now requiring all male university students to cut their hair like Kim Jong-un, we couldn’t stop an eyebrow from rising and thinking, “Wait, really?” As for whether or not it’s true, well, we think we have a solid answer…or as close to a solid answer as you can get when it comes to North Korea.

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You ain’t seen North Korean calisthenics ’til you’ve seen it done to Final Fantasy IV boss music

You ain’t seen North Korean calisthenics ’til you’ve seen it done to Final Fantasy IV boss music

Every once in a while we experience pleasant beauty of synchronicity in life, whether it’s listening to Pink Flyod’s Dark Side of the Moon while watching The Wizard of OZ or just listening to The Police’s Synchronicity.

Another such case is the uncannily fitting combination of a North Korean calisthenics video for children with the background music to a Final Fantasy IV boss battle. A video of it was posted on YouTube quite a while ago, but it’s worth revisiting again and again.

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Wait, did North Korea really just call South Korea’s president a “blabbering peasant woman”?

Wait, did North Korea really just call South Korea’s president a “blabbering peasant woman”?

Yes. Yes, it did.

Relations between North and South Korea took a turn for the childish today as a spokesman for the notorious hermit nation labelled South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye a “peasant” and remarked that she ought to stop “blabbering” if she ever wants to see relations between the two countries improve.

Me, and indeed, ow.

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Kim Jong-un clones on the loose, hiding out in China【Photos】

Kim Jong-un clones on the loose, hiding out in China【Photos】

There may be only one murderous, sociopathic leader of North Korea, but with all the Kim Jong-un look-alikes we’ve found in China, we’re starting to wonder if he’s not actually the result of some bizarre cloning experiment. First, a “cosplayer” showed up on the streets of Hong Kong last October, posing for photos and looking as if he were on the verge of sentencing a village to three generations of hard labor. And now another look-alike has appeared in China…selling roast skewers on the street?

What the heck is going on here??

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Close call – Passenger plane passed through North Korean missile trajectory just 6 minutes later

Close call – Passenger plane passed through North Korean missile trajectory just 6 minutes later

At approximately 4:17 p.m. on Tuesday this week, North Korea fired seven short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast into the Sea of Japan. While this in itself is not especially unusual for the world’s most secretive and hardline dictatorship, a genuinely unsettling detail later emerged that reflects the seriousness of the situation and just how close one group of civilians came to danger: Just six minutes after its launch, a China Southern Airways passenger plane passed directly through the path one missile had taken.

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North Korea launches missiles into Japan Sea because it’s just that time again

North Korea launches missiles into Japan Sea because it’s just that time again

We’re used to seeing a lot of unbelievable-sounding coverage concerning the Cobra-style antics of North Korea’s totalitarian dictatorship. But the country’s tightly-closed borders make many reports difficult to verify, so a lot of patently false stories end up circulating through legitimate outlets. This means that, sadly, what you’ve read about North Korea putting a man on the sun and finding a unicorn lair are less than legit.

Some stories, however, are frighteningly real: Like the one about Pyongyang launching a series of Scud missiles over the Japan Sea recently as a show of military might.

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