“Confirming” being the operative work. You can’t just say you talked to someone in New Zealand, it must be authenticated. Two way exist of accomplishing this authentication. In the old days, hams exchanged postcards (we call 'em QSL cards). You could bundle those up when you had 100 different countries and mail them to the ARRL. I did that under my original call years ago, WA4NUO. Today, the ARRL maintains a secure online method of authentication, the Logbook of the World or LotW.
It took me almost 10 years to win DXCC using the old slow and expensive physical QSL card system (overseas postage mounts up quickly). As W5VE, I did it 100% online and in a year and a half.
An accomplishment I am rather proud of.
The lower award in the photo is the Worked All States Award. Authenticated contact with hams in all 50 states. I got that one in less than a year.