20 Things About the True Picture of North Korea: $10 Trillion-Worth of Treasures Under the Land?

Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP

A dedicated time zone
Because North Korea wants its own way in all areas, it also created its own time zone and calendar. Pyongyang Standard Time (GMT+0830) is a unique time zone used exclusively in North Korea, which is 30 minutes later than Japan and South Korea, and 30 minutes earlier than Russia, China, and Australia. The North Korea’s “Juche” calendar has a base year of 1912 when Kim Il-sung was born. According to this calendar, the year of 2020 corresponds to 109 Juche year.

The leader can be selected at an election
North Korea has a dictatorship regime, but surprisingly, citizens can vote in elections to choose the head of the supreme people’s council which has the role of controlling the country. However, the election has a trick: it has only one candidate from the beginning! Voters can reject the single candidate at the polls, but they must drop the vote into a separate ballot box, meaning such voters can be easily identified. In some cases, voters can be charged with treason against the nation. As a result, approving votes usually account for 99 – 100% of all ballots.

Text by 青葉やまと