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10 normal things that are banned in North Korea

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North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country shrouded in secrecy.

Run by the Kim family for generations, the government maintains strict control over its citizens’ lives. This control extends to many aspects of everyday life, with even seemingly harmless activities being banned or heavily restricted.

Here are ten such examples and the reasons behind these restrictions:

Imagine a world without Google, social media, or even online news. In North Korea, access to the global internet is tightly controlled by the government. Citizens have access to a heavily censored internal network, but connecting to the outside world is strictly prohibited. The government fears the spread of information that might challenge its authority.

Korea maintains a tense relationship with its southern neighbour, South Korea. As a result, all forms of South Korean media, including movies, music, and TV shows, are banned. The government worries that exposure to South Korean culture could weaken its control and spark ideas of unification.

North Koreans don’t have the freedom to travel freely within their own country, let alone abroad. Internal movement is restricted, and citizens need permits to travel between cities. Leaving the country is nearly impossible for ordinary citizens. The government fears defection and the spread of information about life outside North Korea.

While North Korea officially allows for freedom of religion, in reality, it’s heavily restricted. The government promotes a personality cult around the Kim family, and citizens are expected to show absolute loyalty. Religious practices that could compete with this loyalty are discouraged or even banned.

Mobile phone use is increasing in North Korea, but it’s heavily monitored. Phones typically only allow calls and texts within the country’s internal network. Accessing foreign content or making international calls is strictly prohibited.

North Korea has strict regulations on appearance. Men’s haircuts are limited to a few approved styles, and dyed hair is forbidden. Women’s clothing is expected to be modest and knee-length. These restrictions aim to promote social conformity and discourage individuality.

While North Koreans do smile, there are times when public displays of happiness are discouraged, particularly during periods of mourning or hardship. Images of past leaders are treated with utmost reverence, and sombre expressions are expected during visits to memorials. However, during celebrations and official events, enthusiastic smiles are encouraged.

Jeans and other Western clothing styles are often associated with American culture, which the North Korean government demonises. While some Western styles might be tolerated in major cities, wearing them can attract unwanted attention from authorities, especially outside of urban areas.

The North Korean economy is centrally controlled by the government. Private businesses are largely banned, and most citizens work for state-owned enterprises. This limits economic opportunities and discourages individual initiative.

The most serious offence on this list is any criticism of the government or the Kim family. North Koreans are expected to show absolute loyalty to their leaders. Even a whisper of dissent can lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment in labour camps for the offender and their extended family.

Punishments for violating these restrictions can vary depending on the severity of the offence. Minor infractions might result in fines or public humiliation. More serious offences, such as watching South Korean media or attempting to flee the country, can lead to imprisonment in harsh labour camps, or even execution.

Why these restrictions exist
The North Korean government justifies these restrictions as being necessary to maintain national security and social order.

They fear the spread of information that could challenge their authority or lead to calls for reform. However, these restrictions severely limit the freedoms of North Korean citizens and paint a picture of a country where basic human rights are not respected.

World

Trump promises Americans ‘4 greatest years in history’ if elected president again

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Donald Trump has vowed to run “to be president for all of America” as he took to the stage at the Republican National Convention on Friday.

Trump said this in his first public speech following the failed attempt on his life.

“I stand before you this evening with a message of confidence, strength, and hope,” Trump told an ecstatic crowd in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Four months from now, we will have an incredible victory, and we will begin the four greatest years in the history of our country.”

“Together, we will launch a new era of safety, prosperity and freedom for citizens of every race, religion, colour and creed,” Trump said.

“I am running to be president for all of America, not half of America, because there is no victory in winning for half of America.”

Trump, 78, formally accepted his party’s nomination as the presidential candidate for the November 5 election, where he is set to face off against incumbent Joe Biden.

He is set to run together with vice presidential candidate, JD Vance, a senator from Ohio who is some 40 years younger than Trump.

Vance is a rising star within the Republican Party and a former fierce critic who has since wholeheartedly embraced Trump. Trump’s official nomination as the Republican presidential candidate came just two days after the failed attempt on his life.

During a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, a shooter was able to climb to an elevated position with an assault rifle and fire a number of shots at Trump, wounding him in the ear while one spectator was killed.

Trump, left bleeding, struck a defiant tone as he pumped his fist while being whisked off the stage.

Wearing a white bandage on his right ear, Trump has joined the four-day party conference in person every night to standing ovations.

The shooting upended what had already been a tumultuous campaign season, dominated by Trump’s criminal trials and concerns about the candidates’ age.

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Biden tests positive for COVID-19, cancels campaign event

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The White House says President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is suffering from mild symptoms.

The US President has cancelled a campaign speech he was scheduled to have in Las Vegas.

“President Biden is vaccinated, boosted, and he is experiencing mild symptoms following a positive COVID-19 test,” a post by the White House on X reads.

“He will be returning to Delaware where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.

“The President presented this afternoon with upper respiratory symptoms, to include rhinorhea (runny nose) and non-productive cough, with general mailaise.

“He felt okay for his first event of the day, but given that he was not feeling better, point of care testing for COVID-19 was conducted, and the results were positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“Given this, the President will be self-isolating in accordance with CDC guidance for symptomatic individuals. PCR confirmation testing will be pending.

“His symptoms remain mild, his respiratory rate is normal at 16, his temperature is normal at 97.8 and his pulse oximetry is normal at 97%. The President has received his first dose of Paxlovid. He will be self-isolating at his home in Rehoboth.”

FEARS OVER BIDEN’S FITNESS

On July 4, the White House said 81-year-old Biden would not back down in the country’s presidential election despite growing concerns about his age and fitness.

US citizens and even his fellow Democrats fear that the president’s age and mental alertness could make re-election impossible, especially after his shaky performance against Donald Trump in their presidential debate.

The US president acknowledged that age affected his fluency during the debate but insisted that he “could do the job”.

Biden also cited a cold and jet lag as reasons for his feeble performance.

The White House spokesperson has maintained that “The president is clear-eyed, and he is staying in the race.”

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Computer scientist claiming invention of Bitcoin faces criminal investigation in UK

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Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who has long claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, is under criminal investigation in the UK for alleged perjury.

According to a Reuters report, Wright faces charges after a judge found him to have repeatedly lied and fabricated documents to support his claims.

The 54-year-old has filed lawsuits around the world, including the US and UK, asserting his role as Bitcoin’s inventor. This culminated in a recent London High Court case.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) took Wright to court to prevent him from suing Bitcoin developers and to preserve the open-source nature of the world’s best-known and most popular cryptocurrency.

In March, Justice James Mellor ruled that evidence against Wright’s Satoshi claims was “overwhelming.” A May written judgment further stated that Wright had lied “extensively” and produced “large-scale” forgeries throughout the case.

On Tuesday, the judge issued a further ruling, referring Wright to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine “whether a prosecution should be commenced” for perjury and document forgery.

Mellor also requested the CPS consider whether a warrant for his arrest should be issued and/or whether his extradition should be sought from his current location.

The judge said Wright’s current whereabouts remain unknown. Justice Mellor noted in his ruling, “The evidence shows Dr Wright has left his previous residence in Wimbledon (London) and appears to have left the UK.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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