PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
North Korea, (조선민주주의인민공화국/朝鮮民主主義人民共和國 Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is an East Asian country which constitutes the northern half of the Korean peninsula. Although the country claims to be a Democratic-Socialist state, it is closer to a totalitarian dictatorship, with a notable cult-of-personality surrounding the Kim family since the country's establishment. As international tensions between the country and other nations rose in the 2010s, the country became the subject of many jokes and memes.
In 1894, the First Sino-Japanese War was fought between the Great Qing (present day China) and the Empire of Japan over the rule of the Kingdom of Joseon (present-day North and South Korea.) In 1910, Japan officially took over the Korean peninsula as part of their empire. In 1945, Japan was forced to surrender their rule on the peninsula following their loss in World War II. The Korean peninsula was then split into two halves by the then-newly formed United Nations, with the Soviet Union occupying the northern-half, and the United States occupying the southern-half. North Korea was officially formed in 1948, with Kim Il-Sung as its official leader, and the south, officially formed as the "Republic of Korea" with Syngman Rhee as its first president.
In 1950, with the indirect support of the Soviet Union, Kim Il-Sung commanded the invasion of the south, starting the Korean War. Near the end of 1951, North Korean victory seemed imminent, but the United States intervened, and pushed back the North Koreans. In 1952, it seemed as if the South would become victorious, but China helped push the South back. This prompted the formation of a demilitarized zone between the two halves, and July 27, 1953, both sides signed the Korean Armistice Agreement, which resulted in a stalemate. North Korea then slowly became more independent following the war.
In 1994, Kim Il-Sung died, and was replaced by his son, Kim Jong-Il. As early as the mid-1990's, the country began to involve itself with nuclear technology following the United States' new consideration of the country as a threat in the 2000's. In 2011, Kim Jong-Il died, and was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Un, current leader of North Korea. In 2011, North Korea announced its first successful test of a nuclear weapon, sparking controversy around the world. later in 2013, North Korea attempted to create intercontinental ballistic missiles, which sparked an international crisis.
On July 6th, 2016, the United States announced that Kim Jong-Un had been placed on a list of sanctioned individuals for human rights abuses, noting that the North Korean government "continues to commit serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced labor and torture." Days later, the North Korean government shut down its official means of communication with the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. On July 28th, the director of North Korea's United States affairs department told The Associated Press that the U.S. government had "crossed the red line" and effectively declared war by putting Kim Jong-Un on the sanctions list.
"The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK in order to get rid of its unfavorable position during the political and military showdown with the DPRK. The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown. We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war."
That day, a post about the North Korean diplomat's statements reached the front page of /r/news, gathering upwards of 3,900 votes (89% upvoted) and 1,100 comments within 24 hours. Meanwhile, Twitter user @6PAPI posted a tweet joking that the war declaration was a "distraction" from rapper Bobby Shmurda's 2-year imprisonment (shown below). The following day, Redditor FilthyPlagiarist submitted a picture of Kim Jong-Un riding a small wooden canoe with the caption "Breaking: Kim Jong-Un and the North Korean Navy Set Off to Invade the US" to /r/funny, where it gained over 2,300 votes (90% upvoted) and 45 comments in less than 24 hours (shown below, right).
North Korea's official presence on the Internet at large is extremely limited, as most of the country's populus uses an Intranet system named Kwangmyong; most Internet connection in the country is limited to government officials as well as hackers hired by the government. The North Korean government runs the website Uriminzokkiri, which is connected to the government's Central News Agency. Uriminzokkiri also runs profiles on sites such as YouTube and Twitter. Several North Korean websites also exist for those outside the country, though many of them are blocked in their own country.
Outside of its official Internet presence, many websites are dedicated to North Korea. Some websites, such as 38 North, have the intent of informing about the reclusive country, others approach more niche subjects; the website such as Pyongyang Traffic Girls, for example, focuses on the country's female traffic conductors.
North Korean Internet Has 28 Websites
On Monday, September 19th, 2016, security engineer and GitHub Matt Bryant discovered a list of all websites available to people with internet access in North Korea. There were 28. The following day, GitHub posted the list of websites, and the list soon spread to Reddit  in a thread that acquired over 6,000 points in three days. Apparently leaked by mistake, many of the websites were down by Wednesday, likely because of intense spikes of traffic. Discovered were sites such as Air Koryo, a North Korean airline, and Friend, which is assumed to be a Facebook clone for North Korea.
The story was covered by many media outlets, including The Daily Dot, Vice, NPR, CNBC, USA Today, and more.
Notable Memes and Events
Kim il-Sung (김일성 born 김성주 Kim Sŏng-ju) was the first leader of North Korea, ruling as the country's "president" from 1948, until his death in 1994. He does not have any memes yet, but may in the future.
Kim Jong-Il (born Юрий Ирсенович Ким Yuri Irsenovich Kim) was the second leader of North Korea, succeeding his father Kim Il-Sung in 1994 and ruling until his death in 2011. Although he was not as popular a subject of memes as his son Kim Jong-Un, he inspired at least one meme in the form of Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things.
Kim Jong-Un (김정은) is the third leader of North Korea, coming into power after his father's death in 2011. Due to his portly appearance and youth, Un has been the subject of various jokes and memes online, which include Hungry Kim Jong-Un, Kim Jong-Un Bent Over, and Kim Jong-Un Looking Through Binoculars.
Justin Bieber to North Korea
Justing Bieber to North Korea was a 2010 attempt by users of the imageboard 4chan to send the popstar Justin Beiber to North Korea through rigging a contest on the singer's website. North Korea was crowned the winner of the contest, although Bieber did not have a tour date in the country.
Operation North Korea
Operation North Korea was a series of 2013 breeches and hacks on various North Korean websites and social media profiles carried out by the Internet vigilante group Anonymous.
2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment Hack
The 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment Hack was a cyberattack on the computer network of the company Sony Pictures Entertainment by North Korean hackers, which lead to the leak of a large number of confidential documents surrounding upcoming movies and employees of the company. The hack was carried out by North Korean hackers in response to The Interview, a film in which a journalist is sent to the country to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.
Best Korea is a phrase used ironically praise North Korea as the superior country of the two Koreas. The phrase derives from North Korea's infamous and widespread use of idealistic propaganda about itself.
/r/Pyongyang is a satirical subreddit which claims to be an official arm of the North Korean government. The subreddit is infamously known for its strict censorship and ban policies on those who speak negatively of North Korea.
 Wikipedia – North Korea
 Wikipedia – Internet in North Korea
 YouTube – Uriminzokkiri (Korean)
 Twitter – Uriminzokkiri (Korean)
 North Korea Tech – The North Korean Website List
 USA Today – U.S. puts N.K. leader Kim Jong Un on sanctions list
 Reddit – The US crossed the line effectively declared war
 Reddit – North Korea declared War on the US
 Hacker News – North Korean Websites
 GitHub – North Korea DNS Leak
 Reddit – North Korea Has Accidentally Enabled Outside Access to its Propaganda Websites
 Motherboard – North Korea Has Just 28 Websites
 The Daily Dot – North Korea accidentally exposes its secret internet to the world
 NPR – North Korea Accidentally Reveals It Only Has 28 Websites
 CNBC – North Korea accidentally lets world access its internet and it only has 28 websites
Jul 29, 2016 at 05:48PM EDT in reply to
Jul 29, 2016 at 05:28PM EDT in reply to
+ Add a Comment
Add a Comment