This week, U.S. President Donald Trump has given us hopes of diplomacy between North Korea and the rest of the world. The historic first-time meeting between Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at Singapore signals one huge baby step towards a probability of achieving world peace – if things go well at least. When all the tension cools down, we might all be welcomed to go to Pyongyang very soon. But when we do, would the strict and harsh rules the Kim regime imposed on their people still apply to us visitors?
Here are regular things we do every day that are already illegal in North Korea. This acts as a precaution to anyone who wishes to visit the hermit country and explore it really soon.
When a North Korean leader dies, citizens are expected to cry hysterically in public as a sign of their admiration and worship. When Kim Jong-Il died in 2011, thousands of North Koreans took to the streets for a hundred days to mourn, falling to their knees and trying their best to look sincerely sad. Those who didn’t show up to mourn faced execution. The same source also said that people who were spotted not crying were taken off to a prison camp.
Wearing jeans and piercings
Wearing jeans or having any piercings in the body are currently illegal in North Korea because it is a symbol of the country’s enemy; the United States of America. There was also an order to have all men copy Kim Jong Un’s haircut, limiting men’s hair growth to a maximum length of 2cm. Anyone not following this rule will have his hair shaved off by authorities. Women were also advised to copy Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju's bob.
Listening to music not approved by Kim Jong Un
In 1992, a female officer made the huge mistake of singing a South Korean song at a party in North Korea. She was beaten so badly that she couldn’t even walk for a whole month and was thrown to jail for three years. According to another source, all music that is played on the radio or performed on stage should be approved by Kim Jong Un first. The music selection must also praise his achievements and the communist ideal his regime is instilling.
Taking pictures of the poor
The North Korean regime wants to hide the fact that almost 50% of its people live in extreme poverty. If you’re a tourist or even a North Korean caught taking photos of the poor, you will be punished. If you’re a tourist in NK, all your moves will be watched by the government. You must always go with your guide and follow a strict schedule. You’re not allowed to ride a cab on your own, or even go outside your hotel room.