North Korea prison

North Korea is not a place you want to go. A madman is running the country, people are starving, and you can be thrown in jail for doing nothing wrong.

Most people expect to be imprisoned if caught stealing or questioning Kim Jong-un or his government while in North Korea. The crazed leader is even suspected of having his brother killed. But other reasons for being imprisoned will have you wondering why anyone would ever visit there at all. Dennis Rodman keeps going to North Korea, but he might want to rethink that!

Falling asleep during a meeting

When Ring Yong Jin fell asleep in a meeting, rather than be lectured by his boss, he was thrown in prison. We’ve all had our head bobbing as we try to stay awake for a class or a meeting. Imagine being jailed for that!

Later, fraud charges were brought against the same man and he was given a death sentence! With the way the North Korean courts work, I wonder if he did anything wrong outside of dozing off during a meeting.

Having religious information

The North Korean government doesn’t allow religious materials in the country. Apparently, Kim Jung Un is the only thing to be worshipped in this hostile nation.

Missionary Kenneth Bae was imprisoned for having Christian materials on his hard drive. He was charged with crimes “hostile to the republic” and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. During the course of 735 days, Bae lost 60 pounds. He was finally released for health issues.

Being related to a criminal 

In North Korea, it’s a crime to even be related to a criminal. You can’t pick your family, but unfortunately, the actions of one of your relatives can land you behind bars. Amnesty International reports that hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are imprisoned to hard labor when they “have not committed any crime, but are merely family members of those deemed guilty of serious political crimes.”


Evan Hunziker is an American who was in Asia for missionary work. He drunkenly swam across the Yalu River from China to North Korea. He was handed over to North Korean police by farmers and accused of spying on North Korea simply for swimming. He spent several months in jail.

Watching soap operas

Yup! Watching your “stories” on daytime television can get you thrown behind bars in North Korea. Even worse, Kim Jung Un has ordered the executions of people who were caught watching soap operas! Apparently, the government fears the soap operas will spread anti-government attitudes.

Leaving religious items in public places

Jeffrey Fowle left a Bible at a North Korean bar. Proselytizing is against the law in North Korea. Fowle’s 2014 actions led to him being detained for six months.

After being released, Fowled admitted his reason for leaving the Bible. “Having seen the plight of the people, I knew about the severe Christian persecution. I wanted to help them,” he said.


The North Korean government doesn’t want any dissent. They will throw people behind bars for protesting.

On Christmas Day 2009, Robert Park walked from China to North Korea across the frozen Tumen River. The minister shouted, “South Korea and America love you.” He also smashed a picture of Kim Jung Un.

He was arrested and sexually and physically abused in prison. Park doesn’t encourage other people to do this. “I just hoped that this could galvanize people to action. Because this is a society that needs change now,” he said in an interview.

North Korea should not be your next tourist destination. It’s a dangerous place to be. Everyday actions can get you arrested. American college student Otto Warmbier made a fatal mistake of visiting the country. He was beaten so severely in a North Korean prison that it ultimately cost him his life.

Share this if you don’t have any plans to go to North Korea!

Source: Cheat Sheet

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