You will be shocked to know that you can't buy these 14 things in North Korea

When we want to buy something like McDonald’s or magazines, we just pick our phones and place an order. We can also buy everything online. However, things are not that easy for North Koreans.

There are several things of daily use, which they cannot buy in the local market. If you are for any reason visiting this country, here are 20 things you cannot purchase:


1. Magazines

All printed books and media is strictly under control of the North Korean Government and its leader Kim Jong-Un.

The government is paranoid that if the public is exposed to foreign media, it will brainwash them. Anyone of the magazines other than registered, they are strictly prohibited and destroyed.

2. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is doing business in almost all countries. This luxury is not available for North Koreans. Yes, you read it right. The company is not operating in the country due to United Nations sanctions against the North Korea.

3. Apple Products

Every year, Apple launches several products and ships all of them to different countries for the big release. However, according to Apple’s Global Trade Compliance, North Korea does not receive any of its products. Quite ironically, their leader can get whatever he wants, and Apple products are one of them.

4. Wi-Fi

In a country, where music and printed media is controlled, it is no surprise Wi-Fi and internet is not available. North Korean government in its attempt to isolate its public from other world has put a complete ban on the use of internet.

5. Condoms

United Nations started a project in 1985 to provide free family planning resources including condoms to North Koreans. However, all of this stuff ended in the black market. It was sold at expensive rates, and the common person had no knowledge of it. This ignorance still exists in the country and condoms are a rare commodity.

6. Healthcare

Average citizen cannot buy healthcare as state claims it offers free healthcare facilities to all. However, due to lack of funds patients have no access to new needles, food, clean water and even medicine. There is acute shortage of medicines, as sometimes surgeons have to do surgery without giving anesthesia.

7. McDonald’s

The company is not doing its business due to sanctions on the country. Some would say it alright as the food is highly greasy and unhealthy, but this is not fair. Life is North Korea is already difficult, and without McDonald’s it becomes harder than ever.

8. Music

Like print media, state and the North Korean leader also regulate music. North Koreans cannot enjoy Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Lady Gaga, etc. International singers and artists do not perform in concerts. The only state allowed music and singers can perform. Government scrutinizes their lyrics first, and then they can sing it.

10. Real Estate

Citizens are not allowed to buy and sell property, as they cannot own property. Only army can build housing units and these are for country’s elite class.

11. Fertilizer

The country is suffering from severe famine due to non-availability of fertilizers. Before the escalation of tension between two Koreas, South Korea was providing fertilizers to North Korea. However, it is not possible now. Citizens are suffering from acute shortage of food and subsequent malnutrition.

12. Jeans

Yes, it is true. You are not allowed to wear jeans in the country. Hence, you can also not purchase them from the local market. North Korean government hates things, which is abundant in Western world or its opponent countries.

13. Cable TV

There is one government ran channel available for of the country: KCNA. There are 2 others for people in Pyongyang only.


14. A vacation

North Koreans cannot go for a vacation to Japan or South Korea. All citizens need permission for traveling. They cannot even move freely in the country itself. Only elite and wealthy class is living in the country and outsiders are not allowed. You can live in the capital, only if you are doing business or have a house in the city.

Sources : one