What is it like living under Kim Jong Un

Other | Tuesday 14th March 2017 | Kat

North Korea is one of the worlds most secretive countries where nothing is really revealed or told to the citizens, nevermind the rest of the world.. North Koreans are banned from leaving, they are not even allowed to use the internet. What is Kim Jong-Un planning?

People are heavily controlled, and have no freedom. Everything in the country revolves around the leader of the country, and the government control the entire population.

North Korea is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country borders South Korea, however the two don't exactly get along.

An invasion in 1950 initiated by North Korea lead to the Korean civil war. It was brought to a ceasefire, but no actual peace treaty was ever signed. The heavily guarded Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separates the two countries.The DMZ is a highly militarised strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world.

It has an estimated active military force of up to 1.2 million, compared to about 680,000 in South Korea, with about one in five of men aged 17-54 in the armed forces. Military programs use most of the funds that the country has. In 2001, the country spent more than $5 billion on the military alone, which is more than 30 percent of the countries total money.

The population of North Korea is 24.5 million, with the capital of the country being Pyongyang. The history of North Korea is surrounded around its Great Leader,Kim Il-Sung.

Kim Jong-Un took over from his father Kim Jong-il when he died from a heart attack in December 2011, making him the third supreme leader in the Kim dynasty. Kim Il-sung will always be considered North Korea’s eternal leader, even though his family have taken over his role after he died.

North Korea is one of the most mysterious places in the world. It is almost like it is kept in complete darkness, and no one else in the world is allowed to know anything about it.

Poverty is a big problem in North Korea, and it is only ever reported through secret illegal photographs of the poor places in the country.

Forty percent of the population live below the poverty line.

The Government spend more money to keep Pyonyang looking clean and modern, and no money is put into the citizens and villages. This is because Pyonyang is their model town, and the only place that tourists are allowed to visit.

Everything is made to look amazing and perfect in Pyonyang, which shows a fake-state of success and wealth. Allthough the country says that healthcare is free, its citizens are denied medical treatment unless they can pay the high prices for medicine. 

Food shortages are widespread in North Korea due to the famine that occured in the 1990's. A study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that 84% of households have ''borderline or poor food consumption''.

All radios and TV's in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations.These stations show a constant stream of propaganda about the countries 'Supreme Leader.' 

News reports are all about North Koreas leader Kim Jong Un, and not about poverty or economics. You hardly see anything about North Korea on the TV or in magazines, because nothing is reported or documented.The only news we hear about the country are reports of nuclear tests.

If a North-Korean citizen gets caught listening to foreign broadcasts like the News, they risk very harsh punishments such as being sent to a labour camp. Foreign DVD's are also illegal and you can be arrested for possession of them in North Korea.

Leaving North Korea without official permission is a crime. Many families try to escape the country by going to China to seek refuge, however if they are caught then they are sent to prison camps. 

Hoeryong concentration camp is a political prison camp in North Korea.The camp is in a maximum security area, and it is completely isolated from the outside world. If one member of a family gets sent to a labour camp, then the rest of their family get sent their too and they get held there for their entire lives.

The labour camps were set up in the late 40's or early 50's, and North-Korean citizens can be put there for the smallest crime towards Kim Jong Un.Most of the prisoners die from forced labour and the combination of starvation.

 “Conditions are horrific. People are worked for 14, 15 or 16 hours every day with just a handful of corn to live on and they are intentionally starved and worked to death,” explained Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea freedom coalition, from a group assisting defectors and campaigning for improved human rights.

You can get in a lot of trouble for taking photographs in North Korea. Photos of places which aren't landmarks and statues have to be smuggled out of the country by photographers as to not be confiscated by the Government.

You are banned from photographing North-Korean citizens who aren't the Government, and other places such as the train station and the fields where workers may be. These are some photos that were smuggled out of North Korea.