Another day, another wild North Korean claim, but is it science fiction, or a genuine scientific miracle?
North Korea is beginning the New Year by announcing it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.
“We’ll exert ourselves with the Labor Party!” sound so much more appealing when it’s being sung by young women in high heels and followed by a guitar solo.
South Korea’s Yonhap News has published a photograph that appears to show North Korean singer Hyon Sung-wul—long rumored executed at dictator Kim Jong-un’s behest—alive and well in China
North Korea now has a range of ballistic missiles that are thought to be capable of hitting both the US mainland and American interests throughout the Pacific, The Heritage Foundation reports in its 2016 Index of US Military Strength.
The annual report examines the strength of the US military, and also takes into account potential rising threats to the US and its allies from across the world. According to Heritage, the threat from the nuclear-armed, anti-American authoritarian state will only get more complicated in 2016.
Were they granted the ability to manipulate time and space, we’re fairly certain that most world leaders would choose to go back in time in order to benefit their own country somehow, replaying disastrous moments in their history and righting wrongs that would later cost them dearly. (One can only imagine a world in which the likes of Katie Hopkins and Donald Trump were never put in front of a camera…)
But today, totalitarian dictatorship North Korea declared that it would be turning the clock back by just 30 minutes, thus establishing “Pyongyang Time”, in order to mark its independence from the “wicked Japanese imperialists” who meddled with their clocks to begin with.
On 23 March, reports came out of a large fire that had broken out near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. The south is claimed that the fire originated in the north and blew over to their side.
The blaze was dealt with on South Korea’s side, but a month later, according to images released by NASA, it appears that now a good chunk of North Korea’s eastern coast is becoming engulfed in flames as well.
A while back, Japanese politician Ryutaro Nonomura captured the world’s attention after a surreal outburst at a press conference regarding his alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money. No doubt seeing fertile ground for comedy, one creative musician then made Nonomura the stuff of Internet legend by setting the man’s sobs to a guitar track.
Guitarist Felix Martin and his talented collaborators operate under a similar concept, setting guitar, drums, and bass to speeches from North Korean officials, Hugo Chavez, and others. This project isn’t for laughs, though. With an ear for the rhythm and pitch of the spoken word, not to mention masterful heavy metal stylings, Martin and company elevate the aptly named Human Transcription project to the realm of art. Politics and propaganda have never sounded so good.
Whether they’re being called dear, supreme, or great, North Korea takes the image of its top leaders very seriously. After all, this is the same country which claims the late Kim Jong-il, in his first round of golf, finished 38 shots under par (in case you’re not familiar with the technical terms, one under par is a “birdie,” two under is an “eagle,” and 38 under is generally referred to as a “crock”).
So it’s a little surprising that current head of hermit state Kim Jong-un’s fashion consultants have let him rock a hairstyle that seems to perfectly gel with the rest of the world’s image of North Korean dictatorship as cartoonish supervillainry, with a ‘do that makes him look like one of the antagonist mecha from classic anime Mobile Suit Gundam.
In the online game Kim Jong Golf, players must carefully line up a moving bar in order to pull off the perfect shot. Right on the money? Hole in one! Miss completely? Doesn’t matter. Hole in one! Hang on…
Whether on a snowy mountaintop or rolling fields, players hit every shot with superhuman accuracy and grace. Then again, such things are to be expected when your character is the Glorious Leader.
After a long and arduous production, terrorist threats from North Korea, a snap decision to pull the film and then, finally, a half-baked release both online and at independent theaters not fearful of sudden SCUD missile attacks, the much-talked about film The Interview is finally upon us and reviews are lukewarm at best. “Acceptable!,” “Moderately Chuckle-Worthy!,” and “More Dick Jokes Than You Can Shake a Sausage Link At!” seem destined to adorn the box art of the eventual Blu-ray release.
But there appears to be one very unexpected mega fan of the film, if one surreal photo is to be believed…
Oh, North Korea. Whether you’re hanging out with American “diplomats” or testing your rockets by firing them over your neighbors’ airspace, you never cease to amaze us with your incredible antics.
While Korea’s grumpy northern half can do very little when the rest of the world criticizes its behavior, “justice” will be swift for those who support dissenting opinions within the country. But in order to mask the removal of high-ranking North Korean officers as something other than Kim Jong Un flexing his supreme leader powers, the North Korean media has recently released “reasons” that could only be acceptable there.
There’s a new way to say “Will you marry me?” in North Korea – with a gift of a mobile phone.
Cellphones are now the most popular engagement gift in small and mid-sized cities, Daily NK reports, overtaking rings as the gift of choice. The high price of phones makes them a status symbol among young couples.
With a couple of months having passed since summer vacation, many of us are feeling the need for a few days off. After all, who doesn’t like getting away from their workaday routine for the liberating excitement of a few days taking a trip someplace new, like North Korea?
But if your short-term travel wish list includes a trip to the northern reaches of the Korean Peninsula, you might want to postpone your departure, because as of October 24, no foreign tourists are getting in, due to a new government policy to prevent the spread of Ebola to the communist country.
From 1969 to 1997, the North Korean leadership purchased expensive full-page ad space in the most prominent western newspapers, Benjamin R. Young reports for NK News. The ads, which cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, were placed in high-profile publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian.
Every nation’s leader has to face one sooner or later and North Korea’s is no different. The DPRK was rocked recently by a scandal involving their Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un when a report came out that he once admitted he was “kind of boring” while visiting orphans at a hospital.
Although various rumors about Kim have circulated in other countries before, this would be the first time we know of that North Korea’s tightly controlled media will have reported a negative comment about him. Some fear this is only the beginning; further compliment-fishing remarks may come next such as,“Is that another grey hair?” or “You’re so lucky! Anytime I eat chocolate it goes right to my butt.” In great enough numbers these little utterances may seriously endanger his carefully engineered image of infallibility.
The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.
But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?
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: