40 Illegal Photos Exposing the Truth About Life in North Korea

September 9th is National Day.

At least one day a year, North Korea shines with colorful clothing and celebration. It’s the 9th of September, National Day or Republic Day. For North Koreans, there are only a few worthy holidays every year, the birthdays of the Supreme Leaders and National Day. On National Day, women and even men to some extent dress in bright colors. They rehearse and perform dances, create art, play art sport, and “let loose.”

The North Korean calendar keeps different years.

In North Korea, the calendar started in the year 1912 AD, when Kim Il-Sung was born, the Day of the Sun as they call it. They call this calendar system the Juche Calendar. Our 1912 is their year one. Our 2011 is their year 100, and so on. Before 1912, there is no Juche calendar. Then they use the Gregorian Calendar.

They manage tourism entry points

By our best estimates, 4,000-6,000 Western tourists visit North Korea every year. Where and when one of those tourists enters the country they control via state-owned tourism bureaus. Most enter through either China or South Korea. There is a train running into North Korea from the Chinese border. The depot when one arrives in North Korea is, no surprise, clean but empty. 

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