It’s no secret that the rules in North Korea are very strict rules about what its citizens can and cannot do. But until now, those rules have mostly been kept under wraps, making it hard to get an idea of what life in the country really looks like beyond the propaganda that we see in state-run media outlets and on the internet.
Unsurprisingly, North Korea has some pretty strict rules governing how its citizens are expected to behave. While some of the rules come from within—the government encourages citizens to inform each other—others are laws that the government imposes on its people from the outside. Here are eight of the most shocking examples of these rules in North Korea.
Shocking Rules In North Korea
1) Not Allowed To Wear Jeans – Rules In North Korea
Did you know that it’s actually against the law to wear jeans in North Korea? That’s right, denim is considered a symbol of capitalism and is therefore banned. If you’re caught wearing jeans, you could be facing some serious consequences.
2) Cannot Make International Calls – Rules In North Korea
If you thought the rules in North Korea were bad, wait until you hear about this next one. In North Korea, making international calls is a crime. If you’re caught, you could be sent to a labor camp, or even executed. The government monitors all phone calls, and only approved numbers can be called. If you want to make an international call, you have to go through a state-run company.
3) Not Allowed To Travel Abroad Without Permission
If you’re a North Korean citizen, you need permission from the government to leave the country. And even if you do get permission, you’re only allowed to travel to certain places. Tourists are also closely monitored while they’re in the country. All of this is done in an effort to control what information North Koreans have about the outside world and to prevent them from defecting.
4) Not Allowed To Have The Same Name As The Current President
Citizens of North Korea are not allowed to have the same name as the current president, Kim Jong-un. If they do, they are required to change their name. This rule is designed to prevent people from impersonating the president or potentially offending him. Violating this rule can result in severe punishment, including imprisonment or execution.
5) Freedom Of Religion Is A Myth – Rules In North Korea
Did you know that freedom of religion is a myth in North Korea? If you want to practice any religion other than the state-sanctioned ones of Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism, you’re out of luck. And even if you do practice one of those religions, you’re only allowed to do so within certain confines. For example, Christians are not allowed to have Bibles or crucifixes in their homes.
6) An Entire Family Could Be Punished If One Person Commits Suicide
In North Korea, if one family member commits suicide, the entire family is punished. This rule is designed to discourage people from taking their own lives, but it also puts a lot of pressure on families. If someone in your family kills themselves, you could be sent to a labor camp, or even executed. So, not only do you have to deal with the grief of losing a loved one, but also the very real possibility of being punished for their death.
7) Military Service Is Compulsory For Everyone – Rules In North Korea
In North Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for a minimum of 10 years. Women must serve for at least seven years. Military service is considered one of the highest honors in North Korea, and many families encourage their children to enlist.
8) Choice Of The Profession Is Decided By The Government
In North Korea, the government decides what profession each citizen will have based on the country’s needs. This means that if the government needs more doctors, then more citizens will be trained as doctors. The same goes for any other profession. If there is a shortage of construction workers, then people are sent to learn construction skills instead of, say, math or language skills.
The biggest problem with this type of system is that people don’t get to choose their own professions and because they don’t get the opportunity to use their strengths and interests in their job they can become bored or dissatisfied with their jobs.
North Korea is a country that is shrouded in mystery. There are many rules and regulations that the citizens must follow, or risk severe consequences. Some of these rules may seem strange to those of us who live in more free societies. However, it is important to remember that life is very different for those living under the rule of the Kim regime.