North Korea
in Eastern Asia
Asia

National active POI Bordering countries
Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Won - KPW
Spoken languages:
Korean
Local electricity:
220 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
3G
ISO 2-Letter code:
KP
Internet top level domain:
.kp
Country phone prefix:
+850
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours
Current travel safety evaluation for North Korea in Eastern Asia

Safety Score: 4,3 of 5.0 based on data from 9 authorites. Meaning please reconsider your need to travel to North Korea.

Travel warnings are updated daily. Source: Travel Warning North Korea. Last Update: 2019-12-12 07:22:55

Explore North Korea

North Korea with its capital Pyongyang is located in Asia (Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan). It covers some 120,539 square kilometers (slightly larger than Virginia) with 25,248,100 citizens. Korean is the language commonly spoken used by the people in North Korea. China, Russia and South Korea are bordering countries.

North Korea is a country in East Asia. North Korea can only be visited by an organized tour, but this can be a large group or a party of one. Prices start from around $1000/€700/£580 for a 5-day group tour including accommodation, meals and transport from Beijing, but can go up considerably if you want to travel around the country or independently (as your own one-person escorted group).

Popular Destinations in North Korea

Administrative regions of North Korea

About the country

The landscape is mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys and wide coastal plains in west, discontinuous in east. The average density of population is about 209 per km². The climate in North Korea can be described as temperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer with long, bitter winters. Potential threats by nature are Changbaishan (2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active, late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding and occasional typhoons during the early fall.

To reach someone North Korea dial +850 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 3G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".kp". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 220 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C). The sign for the locally used currency Won is KPW.

Three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star; the broad red band symbolizes revolutionary traditions; the narrow white bands stand for purity, strength, and dignity; the blue bands signify sovereignty, peace, and friendship; the red star represents socialism.

Flag of North Korea

An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored communist control. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, North Korea (DPRK), under its founder President KIM Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic "self-reliance" as a check against outside influence. The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM Il Sung's son, KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political and managerial role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. KIM Jong Un was publicly unveiled as his father's successor in 2010. Following KIM Jong Il's death in 2011, KIM Jong Un quickly assumed power and has now taken on most of his father's former titles and duties. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has faced chronic food shortages. In recent years, the North’s domestic agricultural production has increased, but still falls far short of producing sufficient food to provide for its entire population. The DPRK began to ease restrictions to allow semi-private markets, starting in 2002, but has made few other efforts to meet its goal of improving the overall standard of living. North Korea's history of regional military provocations; proliferation of military-related items; long-range missile development; WMD programs including tests of nuclear devices in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017; and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community and have limited the DPRK’s international engagement, particularly economically. The regime abides by a policy calling for the simultaneous development of its nuclear weapons program and its economy.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 100) 120,538sq km
Land (World Rank: 97) 120,408sq km
Water (World Rank: 142) 130sq km
Forest (World Rank: 196) 0.40%
Comparative slightly larger than Virginia; slightly smaller than Mississippi
Coastline
2495
Landborder
1607
Elevation
Highest point (World Rank: 88) 2,744m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 159) 21.80%
Arable (World Rank: 58) 19.50%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 98) 1.90%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 196) 0.40%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 37) 14,600sq km
Map reference
Asia
Environment
Issues
  • - deforestation
  • - inadequate supplies of potable water
  • - soil erosion and degradation
  • - water pollution
  • - waterborne disease
Agreement party
  • - Antarctic Treaty
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Environmental Modification
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
Agreement signed Law of the Sea
Hazzards
  • - Changbaishan (2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active
  • - late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding
  • - occasional typhoons during the early fall
Location
Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Climate
temperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer; long, bitter winters
Terrain
mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; wide coastal plains in west, discontinuous in east

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 51) 25,248,100
Deathrate (World Rank: 60) 0.93%
Birthrate (World Rank: 131) 1.46%
Growthrate (World Rank: 151) 0.53%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 124) 1.95%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 91) 32.50
Female (World Rank: 81) 35.60
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 64) 2,670,880
0 14 female (World Rank: 66) 2,576,850
15 24 male (World Rank: 55) 1,982,040
15 24 female (World Rank: 56) 1,955,220
25 54 male (World Rank: 44) 5,608,520
25 54 female (World Rank: 45) 5,572,000
55 64 male (World Rank: 41) 1,166,680
55 64 female (World Rank: 38) 1,301,200
65 x male (World Rank: 48) 826,735
65 x female (World Rank: 36) 1,588,010
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 74) 2.21%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 154) 71years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 148) 75years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 155) 67years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 50) 2.78
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 3) 13.20
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 118) 81.90%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 163) 6.80%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 47) 99.70%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 87) 13,410,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 89) 11,240,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 159) 45.00%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 33) 55.00%
Crude oil
Imports (World Rank: 74) 10,640bbl / day
Refined products
Production (World Rank: 99) 11,270bbl / day
Consumption (World Rank: 141) 18,000bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 158) 5,976bbl / day
Natural gas
Consumption (World Rank: 142) 15
Carbon footprint
50000000

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 114) 40,000,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 193) -1.10%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 212) 1,700USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 29) 25.30%
Source industry (World Rank: 19) 41.10%
Source service (World Rank: 216) 33.60%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 41) 14,000,000
Products
Industries
  • - chemicals
  • - coal
  • - copper
  • - electric power
  • - food processing
  • - graphite
  • - iron ore
  • - lead
  • - limestone
  • - machine building
  • - magnesite
  • - metallurgy
  • - military products
  • - mining
  • - precious metals
  • - textiles
  • - tourism
  • - zinc
Agriculture
  • - beef
  • - corn
  • - eggs
  • - pork
  • - potatoes
  • - pulses
  • - rice
  • - soybeans
  • - wheat
Exports
  • - agricultural
  • - armaments)
  • - fishery products
  • - manufactures (
  • - metallurgical products
  • - minerals
  • - textiles
Imports
  • - coking coal
  • - equipment
  • - grain
  • - machinery
  • - petroleum
  • - textiles

Nation

Budget
Surplus (World Rank: 48) -0% of GDP
National symbol
red star
National colours
white
Adjective
Korean
Noun
Korean(s)
Background
An independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula. Following World War II, Korea was split with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored communist control. After failing in the Korean War (1950-53) to conquer the US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK) in the southern portion by force, North Korea (DPRK), under its founder President KIM Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic "self-reliance" as a check against outside influence. The DPRK demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang's control. KIM Il Sung's son, KIM Jong Il, was officially designated as his father's successor in 1980, assuming a growing political and managerial role until the elder KIM's death in 1994. KIM Jong Un was publicly unveiled as his father's successor in 2010. Following KIM Jong Il's death in 2011, KIM Jong Un quickly assumed power and has now taken on most of his father's former titles and duties. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has faced chronic food shortages. In recent years, the North’s domestic agricultural production has increased, but still falls far short of producing sufficient food to provide for its entire population. The DPRK began to ease restrictions to allow semi-private markets, starting in 2002, but has made few other efforts to meet its goal of improving the overall standard of living. North Korea's history of regional military provocations; proliferation of military-related items; long-range missile development; WMD programs including tests of nuclear devices in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2017; and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community and have limited the DPRK’s international engagement, particularly economically. The regime abides by a policy calling for the simultaneous development of its nuclear weapons program and its economy.
Flag description
three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star; the broad red band symbolizes revolutionary traditions; the narrow white bands stand for purity, strength, and dignity; the blue bands signify sovereignty, peace, and friendship; the red star represents socialism

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 71) 1,180,000
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 157) 5.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 215) 13.00
Assessment 0

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 51) 39.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 65) 43.00
Heliports (World Rank: 11) 23.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 29) 7,435
Road
Total length (World Rank: 101) 25,554
Paved length (World Rank: 152) 724
Unpaved length (World Rank: 59) 24,830
Water
Total length (World Rank: 39) 2,250