The 10 Craziest Lies North Koreans Are Made To Believe From Birth

by Sean Levinson

Miss Kim, a 20-year-old born in North Korea, has never left the notoriously isolated country.

Kim is studying English at Pyongyang's University of Foreign Studies. Her grades and noted proficiency of the English language awarded her the opportunity to be the tour guide for French photographer Eric Lafforgue, who visited North Korea earlier this year.

Lafforgue knew that North Koreans are fed propaganda since birth to prevent them from having any negative thoughts about their country, but was still shocked to hear of some of the outrageous things Kim believed.

Here are the 10 craziest beliefs of Miss Kim, a hapless victim of North Korea's incomparable ethnocentrism:

10. Lady Gaga is a man: When Lafforgue asked if Kim had heard of one of the most popular pop stars alive, she replied "I don't know who he is, no."

9. Kim Jong-il invented the hamburger: Kim believes the late dictator invented the hamburger in 2009, which isn't much of a surprise, considering he was worshiped as a God who could read minds.

8. Mickey Mouse was created by the Chinese: This seems like North Korea's payback to China for giving the country money to sustain itself, much of which Kim Jong-un spends on himself.

7. Riding a bike will ruin the shape of her legs forever: The lie here obviously isn't so much that biking changes the shape of the legs, but that the legs of a woman who exercises in this manner are unattractive, which we assume comes from the regime's opinion of how a woman's lower body should look.

6. South Koreans will shoot anyone trying to cross the border: North Korea and South Korea are bitter enemies, therefore the latter are constantly portrayed as savages.

5. The wealthiest aren't taking all of the country's money: "We are all equal," Miss Kim said, when asked who is the richest person in North Korea. Kim Jong-un has his own private island and spends millions a year on cars and booze.

4. You can't get pregnant unless you're married: Kim told Lafforgue that no one in North Korea gets pregnant before marriage. "That never happens!" she said. North Korean men and women are taught that even dancing with someone they've just met inappropriate.

3. There's no such thing as jeans with holes in them: "I don't believe you, Mr. Eric, you are joking," Kim told the photographer when he informed her that other countries sell jeans with zippers at the crotch. This might as well be the uniform of a prostitute for North Koreans.

2. No one in North Korea drives, because cars are bad for you: Kim said that there are hardly any cars in North Korea because the regime doesn't want its citizens to become lazy.

1. North Koreans are only kind to South Koreans crossing over: North Korea's border is the most militarized on the planet and guards have been known to shoot people on the spot if they appear suspicious but Kim said, "We welcome him," in the event of a South Korean entering North Korea.

Photo Courtesy: Eric Lafforgue