As we’ve seen in the past month (or, really, the past generation), North Korea is a prime example of how not to run a country. It has one of the largest standing armies in the world. Over half a million people died of starvation between 1993 and 2000. Anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 people are currently imprisoned in North Korean labor camps, where they are tortured and worked to death on a regular basis. And that’s just what we know.

You see, North Korea has a nationwide blackout on foreign media and the Internet. And it’s extremely difficult to get into the country, which is why many people refer to North Korea as "The Hermit Kingdom." This gives rise to rumors, a lot of conjecture, tons of gossip, and a surplus of secondhand information.

Today, we’re going to try and clear some that up. Here are nine crazy stories about North Korea, along with our evaluation of their legitimacy. You’ll be relieved at what’s false, and terrified at what’s true.

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