North Korea ordered male students to cut their hair like Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Source: Radio Free Asia’s Korean service quoted a source inside North Korea, speaking on condition of anonymity, who described an unwritten directive from the ruling Workers Party to students in March 2014.
2. North Korea has 28 government-approved hairstyles for men and women.
Source: Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV reported on images of the state-sanctioned hairstyles in 2013, according to Taiwan’s Want China Times.
3. But, North Korea’s government does have an official hairstyle policy.
Source: The BBC reported on several North Korean state media campaigns in 2005 showcasing official hairstyles and shaming people with long hair.
4. North Korea’s government has a fashion policy.
Source: Defectors have described a ban on clothes with English writing and trousers for women, as well as mandatory lapel pins bearing the images of former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
5. Kim Jong Un fed his uncle to hungry dogs.
Source: After North Korea announced the execution of the supreme leader’s uncle and second-in-command in December 2013, Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po detailed a particularly brutal execution method. The paper said Jang Song Thaek and five aides were stripped naked and fed to 120 dogs who had been starved for five days.
6. Kim Jong Un had his ex-girlfriend — and other pop stars — executed for making a pornographic video.
Source: Two versions of this story emerged in September 2013. South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that dozens of singers, including Kim’s alleged ex-lover, pop star Hyon Song Wol, were executed for making pornography. Meanwhile Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said the porn charges were leveled at former bandmates of Kim’s current wife, Ri Sol Ju, who were executed after they were overheard discussing her sexual past.
7. North Korea had officials executed by flamethrower.
Source: South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported in April 2014 that one of the officials in Jang’s former department was burned alive, in an “execution by flamethrower.”
8. North Korea had officials executed by bombing them to smithereens.
Source: Chosun Ilbo reported in 2012 that a top military official was found drunk during the mourning period for Kim’s father and predecessor Kim Jong Il, and was executed by mortar round after Kim gave the order to leave “no trace of him behind, down to his hair.
9. North Korea produced its own smartphone — dubbed the Pyongyang Touch.
Source: North Korea’s official news agency in August 2013 announced the launch of the North Korean Arirang smartphone, manufactured in the country using “indigenous technologies.”
10. Kim Jong Il kidnapped a famous director to build the North Korean film industry.
Source: Director Shin Sang-ok and his wife, actress Choi Un-hui, said that the notoriously movie-obsessed Kim Jong Il had them kidnapped and ordered to improve North Korean film, which they did until their escape eight years later.
Kim Jong-un is the world’s youngest head of state, believed to be turning 33 on 8 January – but nobody really knows his true age.
He was born to his late father Kim Jong-Il and his second mistress Ko Young Hee.
He is the second of three children. He has an elder brother called Kim Jong-chul and a younger sister called Kim Yo-jong.
Despite no formal military training, Kim Jong-un is head of one of the largest armies in the world. According to the US State Department, DPRK has an estimated active duty military force of up to 1.2 million personnel.
The only known information on his early life comes from defectors and those who have claimed to see him abroad, such as his education in Switzerland.
According to reports, he attended a private English-language International school near Bern, Switzerland.
North Korean quartet The Moranbong Band were allegedly hand picked by the Supreme Leader to form North Korea’s first-ever all-female band.
Rumours that he had his ex girl friend singer Hyon Song Wyol executed were quashed when she appeared on television in 2014.
North Korea’s constitution speaks of democratic voting and freedom of expression, even though this is not carried out in practice.
Ballots in the DPRK have only one option on them
For many years, only one confirmed picture of Kim was known outside of the DPRK – which was reportedly taken when he was 11, in the mid-1990s.
In 2013, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in economics by a private Malaysian university called the HELP University.
According to Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, Kim was always the favourite to be his father’s successor.
He has been named “Yŏngmyŏng-han Tongji” which loosely translates to “Brilliant Comrade”.
After the death of his father, the ruling Workers’ Party said in an editorial: “We vow with bleeding tears to call Kim Jong-un our supreme commander, our leader.”
He reportedly imports vast quantities of emmental, or Swiss cheese, in order to combat his cravings.
Kim reportedly suffers from health problems, including diabetes.
In 2015, South Korea reported he weighs 130kg.
According to leaks sprung by Chinese diplomats linked to insiders within the DPRK, Kim Jong-Un had plastic surgery years ago in order to look like his grandfather Kim Il-Sung.
North Korea bases its calendar on Kim Il-Sung’s date of birth: 15 April 1912.
Whole families are affected if a person violates a law or is sent to a prison camp – meaning grandparents, parents and children of the offender are sent to work too.
Pyongyang celebrates 9 September, 1948 as the founding day of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In 2014, a UN report found: “The gravity, scale and nature of these [human rights] violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
To break from its “imperialist past”, North Korea announced it would follow “Pyongyang time” in August 2015 – which is half an hour later than the previous time zone it shared with South Korea and Japan.
The number of North Korean children being treated for severe malnutrition increased more than 30% in 2014, according to a United Nations agency.
Kim is married to Ri Sol-Ju.
He ordered the execution of his uncle, Jang-Song Thaek, in 2012.
He is reportedly friends with former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who has been to visit Kim in North Korea.