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  1. ITV Report

10 facts about the reclusive state of North Korea

North Korea is notoriously the world's most secretive state. Credit: ITV News

As ITV News Correspondent Lucy Watson visits North Korea to gain an insight into what life is like there, here are ten facts about the secretive state.

  • Korea was split into two North and South in 1945, with Japan's occupation ended after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Pyongyang celebrates 9 September, 1948 as the founding day of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - or North Korea to most overseas.
A parade marking the 1948 establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Credit: Reuters
  • A 2014 United Nations report found evidence of mass starvation, public executions, torture and slavery in North Korea, and claimed hundreds of thousands of people had "disappeared" in the country. The report said: "The gravity, scale and nature of these [human rights] violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
  • Kim Jong-un follows in the footsteps of his father Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim Il Sung.
Kim Jong-un is the youngest head of state in the world, having inherited the premiership after the death of his father in 2011. Credit: REUTERS/KCNA
  • At 32 or thereabouts (his exact birth date is apparently a state secret), North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is the world's youngest head of state. He is roughly the same age as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.
Two huge statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung (L) and Kim Jong Il Credit: Reuters
Dennis Rodman shows off one of his holiday snaps taken during a visit to North Korea in which he is seen with Kim Jong-un. Credit: Reuters
  • Every year, on 15 April, the birthday of Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung is celebrated with major military parades and performances.
Kim Jong-un with his uncle Chang Song-thaek who was executed for allegedly attempted to overthrow him. Credit: Reuters.
  • North Korea's nuclear missile programme has long been a bone of contention with the South and US, who have regularly levied sanctions on the nation in a bid to encourage its nuclear disarmament.
A missile displayed during a parade in Pyongyang on 15 April. Credit: REUTERS/KCNA
  • In 2015, North Korea compared US President Barack Obama to a "monkey in a tropical forest" amid heightened tensions over the spoof film "The Interview" whose plot centred around the assassination of the nation's leader.
Sony Pictures initially withdrew 'The Interview' from cinemas over security fears. Credit: Reuters
  • In August 2015, North Korea introduced "Pyongyang time" which is half an hour later than the previous time zone it shared with South Korea and Japan. The regime describe the move as a break from its "imperialist" past.