North Korea Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > North Korea > Map Economy History

Background: Following World War II, Korea was split into a northern, communist half and a southern, Western-oriented half. KIM Chong-il has ruled North Korea since his father and the country's founder, president KIM Il-song, died in 1994. After decades of mismanagement, the North relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population, while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of about 1 million. North Korea's long-range missile development and research into nuclear and chemical weapons are of major concern to the international community.
Government type: authoritarian socialist; one-man dictatorship
Capital: P'yongyang
Currency: 1 North Korean won (Wn) = 100 chon

Geography of North Korea

Location: Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 127 00 E
Area:
total: 120,540 sq km
land: 120,410 sq km
water: 130 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,673 km
border countries: China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km
Coastline: 2,495 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
note: military boundary line 50 nm in the Sea of Japan and the exclusive economic zone limit in the Yellow Sea where all foreign vessels and aircraft without permission are banned
Climate: temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer
Terrain: mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m
Natural resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 14%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 61%
other: 23% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 14,600 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
Environment - current issues: water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; water-borne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea
Geography - note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated

People of North Korea

Population: 22,912,177 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  25.52%
15-64 years:  67.63%
65 years and over:  6.85%
Population growth rate: 1.22% 
Birth rate: 19.1 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.92 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 23.55 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  71.02 years
male:  68.04 years
female:  74.15 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.26 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Korean(s)
adjective: Korean
Ethnic groups: racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese
Religions: traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)
note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
Languages: Korean
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write Korean
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (1990 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > North Korea > Map Economy History