North Korea is not a rich country. Bill Gates’ net worth is much larger than all of North Korea’s yearly GDP (gross domestic product). As of 2016, Bill Gates has a net worth of about $78.2 billion, which is four and a half times larger than North Korea’s. According to the estimations, North Korea’s GDP is estimated to be about $17.4 billion, while United States is $16.77 trillion.
It is hardly a surprise that poverty is so wide spread in North Korea!
Checking things out
Soldiers are a normal part of the landscape in North Korea and it is not uncommon to see them everywhere and in all aspects of life. In this photo, there are five officers checking up on something with a pair of binoculars. All things that happen in the country are strictly monitored.
Due to military security, the photographer would have probably gotten in a lot of trouble if he was caught taking this picture!
North Korea won the dubious honor of being named the most corrupt country in the world. This is probably not a big shock, but as of last year according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, North Korea is tied as the most corrupt country in the world! The share this “honor” with the country of Somalia with a score of 8. The rating system is between 0 (rampant with corruption) and 100 (squeaky clean).
The results as a whole are worrying, showing that almost 70% of all the countries in the world have a serious corruption problem. In case you were wondering, no perfect corruption free countries exist in our world so don’t pack your bags just yet.
In North Korea, less than 3% of roads are paved. The government does not allocate much funding for this and so most roads are unpaved. Therefore, when you travel around North Korea the vast majority of roads will be unfinished. Out of 120,538 square kilometers of road, only roughly 289 square kilometers are paved.
If all the roads in North Korea were paved, they could circle the planet of Pluto 3.5 times while the 450 miles of paved roads would barely cover the distance from New York to Cleveland.
Paying For Education
School is hard work In North Korea, students must work hard for their education. Even though schooling is mandatory and proclaimed as free, North Korean students need to pay for their own chairs, desks and heat for the winter.
Also, almost half the school day is spent doing hard labor making items for the government. If parents decide they do no want their daughter spending so much time on hard labor, they must either bribe the school officials or stop her from attending school, essentially giving up on her only chance for any kind of education.