Here are 15 things that you are not allowed to do in North Korea
- Listening to foreign music or watching foreign films. If you are caught listening to American pop songs or watching Bollywood movies, you could face imprisonment or even execution.
- Making international calls. If you try to contact someone outside of North Korea, you could be killed for espionage.
- Falling asleep in a meeting with Kim Jong Un. If you doze off while the supreme leader is speaking, you could be shot with an anti-aircraft gun.
- Disrespecting Kim’s family. If you fail to show reverence for the portraits of Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il, or criticize Kim Jong Un, you could be sent to a labor camp or executed.
- Wearing bikinis. If you want to go swimming in North Korea, you have to wear modest swimwear. Bikinis are considered too revealing and immoral.
- Watching foreign television. If you want to watch TV in North Korea, you have to stick to the three state-run channels. Watching any other channel is illegal and could expose you to Western culture.
- Traveling abroad without permission. If you want to leave North Korea, you have to get official approval from the government. If you try to escape, you could be captured and tortured or killed.
- Believing in religion. If you practice any faith other than the cult of personality around Kim Jong Un, you could be persecuted and imprisoned. North Korea is officially an atheist state and does not tolerate any religious activities.
- Driving a car. If you want to drive in North Korea, you have to be very rich or very powerful. Cars are very expensive and scarce, and most roads are poorly maintained. Driving is also restricted by the government and requires a special license.
- Playing music. If you want to play an instrument or sing a song in North Korea, you have to follow the official guidelines and repertoire. Playing any music that is not approved by the state is forbidden and could be seen as subversive.
- Keeping in touch with people abroad. If you have any relatives or friends living outside of North Korea, you are not allowed to communicate with them. Doing so could be considered treason and endanger your life and theirs.
- Having an opinion. If you have any thoughts or views that differ from the official ideology and propaganda of North Korea, you have to keep them to yourself. Expressing any dissent or criticism is strictly prohibited and could land you in trouble.
- Leaving the country. If you want to visit another country for any reason, you have to get permission from the government and follow strict rules. Leaving the country without authorization is considered defection and punishable by death.
- Drinking alcohol. If you want to drink alcohol in North Korea, you have to be careful about when and where you do it. Drinking alcohol is banned on certain days of the year, such as Kim Jong Il’s birthday, and drinking in public is frowned upon.
- Drinking Coca-Cola. If you want to drink Coca-Cola in North Korea, you have to find a shop that sells it illegally from China. Drinking Coca-Cola is seen as a symbol of American imperialism and consumerism, and therefore banned by the government.