15 Interesting Things To Know About Cars, Driving And Motoring In North Korea

1. Owning a vehicle in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is typically restricted to government and military officials.

2. The equivalent of an ordinary North Korean owning a car is like owning a private jet in advanced economies.

3. Overall, the amount of cars in North Korean per 1000 people is 1 to 10.

4. In North Korea, the highest allowed speed limit is 70 km/h or 43 mph.

5. North Korean roads have three lanes with a different speed limit for each of them. The 70km/h lane, the fastest, is reserved for senior government officials.

6. Sometimes, during rush hour in North Korea, one car can sometimes have ten lanes all to itself on very wide expressways.

7. Korea has roughly 25,554 km of roads, with only 724 km being paved – just under 3%. The rest are dirt and gravel. This is according to the CIA World Factbook.

8.Due to issues with the electricity grids, traffic lights are replaced with specially trained human traffic controllers. The robotic movements of these traffic controllers might seem awkward to a visitor to North Korea.

9. The use of HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights are outlawed. This was after President Kim Jong-Un complained about being blinded by them.

10. In North Korean textbooks, it is documented that the president Kim Jong-Un learnt how to drive at age 3. It is also documented that he won a yacht race against the CEO of a foreign yacht company at the age of 9.

11. In 1974, the North Korean government bought 1000 Volvo 144 sedans, which they still haven’t paid for. Till date, the car manufacturers still sends bi-annual reminders about the owed amount – $393 000 000 with the interest factored in.

12. Drunk driving, or speeding, show elite status in North Korea. The act of driving a car shows power and authority so speeding or driving reckless or under influence is considered as a show of status.

13. Travel to North Korea is tightly controlled. The standard route to and from North Korea is by plane or train via Beijing International Airport. Transport directly to and from South Korea was possible on a limited scale from 2003 until 2008, when a road was opened (bus tours, no private cars). Freedom of movement in North Korea is also limited, as citizens are not allowed to move around freely inside their country.

14. Getting a driver’s license in North Korea is very competitive. The process can take more than a year. More so, the opportunities are typically limited to children from wealthy families or those of high-level executive officers.

15. There are only two driving academies in the whole of North Korea. Typically, hundreds of student wait for their turn to take their test and graduate. Many of them wait for more than a year.



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50 Comments

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  1. This is a serious matter. Unlike Lagos where vehicles are even more than humans.

  2. North Korea aren’t a bit Democratic at all

  3. I like a country that is much controlled. Freedom of speech or movement can be abused.

  4. I think the strictness of this country is a little bit too much

  5. ĤĨM ŤĔŔŔĨßĹĔ ĤĔŔĔ ĨŃ ŃĨĞĔŔĨÁ ĞoVĔŔŃMĔŃŤ ÁŃĎ MĨĹĨŤÁŔŶ oŦŦĨČĨÁĹŚ Ďo ŃoŤ oßĔŶ ŤĤĨŚ ĶĨŃĎ oŦ ŔÚĹĔ Ĩ. ŃoŔŤĤ ĶoŔĔÁ.

  6. As for I prefer the country more than this our country that everything is not well organise.

  7. I hope Nigerian drivers will learn. how to drive…

  8. the poor people in North Korea are really suffering because of the strictness of the government to the people in the country

  9. It should not be called democratic then. Thanks for the knowledge shared.

  10. Korea either south or North korea is a very developed country. It was a former Germany colony. And it’s still a Japanese colony. It was controlled by Japan until 1945 after Japan was defeated. Factually Japan laid the foundation of development in Japan. It was initially an agarian country before the arrival of Japan but with the arrival of Japan the face of things were changed.In terms of manufacturing, they’re very powerful better than other Asia countries but not as powerful as Taiwan technologically. Their developmental projects was made possible due to the strategies Put in place by the gov’t. They reformed land to land tenure system,They preserved land for rice cultivation, they built infrastructural and industrial facilities in the areas of health and education, fertilizer, insecticides,hydroelectrical plant etc…. They later got support from Japan and UsA being the capitalist and socialist blocks. By 1954, a sum of 5 billion Us dollar was provided for Korea towards her developmental projects and that was really helpful because she was able to get to the apogee of the success. Don’t say the country isn’t okay here, pls! After all they’re living confiniently better than Nigerians.

  11. oh my God!
    I never about this…this is a strict country

  12. There is a Need to educate our Drivers to avoid

  13. Just imagine evil country, the same country spent huge amounts of on useless nuclear weapons and leter destroyed the site, what a useless country

  14. That’s great to learn about new facts Luke this

  15. That’s great to learn about new facts Like this

  16. I so much like everything about this Korea especially in terms of these their transportation

  17. that means nigeria is far better than korea.

  18. this is fascinating to me because i never knew

  19. Atleast no problem of traffic and air pollution.

  20. I like the country for the fact that they have control over whatever happens to them. They must have seen that democracy is not for them.

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