In North Korea the year is 102, not 2013

May 9, 2013 in Asia-Pacific, Crazy and bizarre


The Democratic People’s Repuplic of Korea, also commonly called North Korea, introduced a new calendar system back in 1997. They had previously used the Gregorian or Western calendar which is the most widely accepted calendar internationally. But in 1997 they began using the Juche calendar, which is based on the founder Kim Il Sungs date of birth 15 April 1912.

Kim Il Sung North Korea founder

The year of his birth is used as year 1, or Juche 1 as it is called. So, as it is 2013 according to the Gregorian calendar, it is only year 102 in North Korea. The Juche calendar uses the same months and number of days as the Gregorian calendar. In many North Korean publications, dates are written in Juche with the Gregorian year afterwards, for example, Juche 101 (2012).

As Kim Il Sung wa born in 1912, or Juche 1, there are no dates in the Juche calendar before that time. It has been decided, that to avoid writing negative Juche years or ‘before Juche’, the Gregorian calendar is used for dates up until 1912. Meaning, the year 1911 is written as 1911, but 1912 is written as year 1. The name of Juche comes from the Juche idea set forward by Kim Il Sung about the Korean masses being the masters of the country’s development. (Via: Photo: yeowatzup)