Form of Government: Socialist republic
Area: 122 762 sq km
Population: 25 490 965 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 207.65 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 43° - 38° N; long. 124° - 131° E
Capital: Pyeongyang (capital) 3 255 288 inhab. (2008);
Currency: North Korean won (100 chun)
Eternal President: Kim II-sung, dead; Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, since 28 December 2011
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly: Choe Ryong-hae, since 11 April 2019; Premier Kim Jae-ryong, since 11 April 2019
Internet: www.korea-dpr.com (Official Webpage)
Member of  UN

Korea, North

Joseon, Joseon Minjujuui Inmin Gonghwaguk
Useful information

International license plate code DVRK
International dialling code 00850
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (low risk confined to some areas for which it is recommended or advised)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .kp

GMT  +9
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Pyeongyang 9.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Pyeongyang -8/24.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Pyeongyang 9/6
Annual average precipitation (mm) Pyeongyang 916
Days of rainfall (annual average) Pyeongyang 75

Politics and current affairs

New meetings between Kim Jong-un and President of the USA, D. Trump (Hanoi, 26 February/2 March, Panmunjom, 30 June 2019), which followed a meeting in Singapore on 12 June 2018, ended unsuccessfully. As a tool to pressure the USA and South Korea, in 2019, new missile tests were held over the Sea of Japan. Diplomatic efforts were being carried out simultaneously with other countries that have strong interests in the region: Chinese President Xi (25/28 March, 7/8 May, 19/20 June 2018, 7/10 January and 20 June 2019), South Korean Moon (27 April 2018 and 30 June 2019) and Russian V. Putin (24/26 April 2019).

Geography.
North Korea is bordered by China and Russia to the north, and South Korea to the south. The Sea of Japan (East Sea) lies off its east coast and the Yellow Sea off its west coast. Most of the country is mountainous.
The climate is continental with a summer rainy season.

Government


Formerly (from 1910) under Japanese sovereignty, Korea was occupied in 1945 by Soviet and American troops, the former north of the 38th parallel, the latter south of it.
In 1948 two separate states were formed, each one claiming territorial rights over the whole peninsula.
Very soon war broke out between the two countries (25 June 1950), in which China and the USA also became involved. The war ended on 27 July 1953, with the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom, which reconfirmed the dividing line of the 38th parallel. After the long dictatorship of Kim Il-sung (in power from 1948 to 1994), the office of President of the Republic lay vacant for a few years. Not until 8 October 1997 was a new secretary of the WPK (Workers’ Party of Korea) appointed, the son of the dictator, Kim Jong-il, who had effectively already occupied the position since the death of his father. This is how the “dynastic Communist regime” came into being. On the death of Kim Jong-il (17 December 2011) his son Kim Jong-un assumed power.
According to the Constitution of 27 December 1972, which has been revised several times, legislative power lies in the hands of the Supreme People’s Assembly, whose members (687) are elected for five years from a single list of candidates, that of the WPK. The Assembly appoints and revokes the government and elects the Central Committee from amongst its members. As the result of an amendment to the Constitution of 1998, the office of President of the Republic has been abolished and the late Kim Il-sung has been proclaimed “Eternal President”. The supreme authority at the head of the state is the National Defense Commission. The policy of alternating conciliatory gestures with provocations (nuclear programme and military operations) helps to strengthen the country’s position in international negotiations, in which it offers détente in exchange for aid for its shaky economy.


Defence.
Military service is compulsory from the age of 17 and lasts between five and eight years in the army, between five and ten years in the navy, and between three and four years in the air force. Citizens are expected to do compulsory part-time service until the age of 40.
In 2003, the country, which has nuclear weapons, short-range, medium- and long-range missiles, withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2017.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force9.3%2015
Army85.7%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides4.4per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Pyeongyang3 255 288inhab.2008
Hamheung768 551inhab.2008
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate13.82017
Death rate92017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Korean99.9%2008
other0.1%2008


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nonreligious/atheist64.3%2005
Korean Shamanism16%2005


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Korean
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years20.6%2018
15-29 years23.3%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
The tight control wielded by the state was slightly weakened following the concession to give state corporations a certain degree of autonomy; some private businesses, though not recognized, are tolerated. The new leadership set a parallel development plan for economic and defence policy (byungjin) in 2013, but the measures announced for development of the agricultural and industrial production segment, which is still mostly obsolete, and to create special economic zones open to foreign investors still haven’t been implemented for the most part. There are never enough crops; it is depends on foreign aid to meet food needs and to ensure basic medication for its citizens.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)102.16index2016
Balance of trade-2 290M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population16 431 446units2018
Active population, Females47.6%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate3.3%2018
Unemployment rate, Females42.7%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses391 310M LCU2005
Revenues391 319M LCU2005
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture59.9%2018
industry17%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture22.8%2017
industry45.5%2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector.
Agricultural production is managed by collectives and is not very efficient. Cereals, which are the staple food, include mainly rice and maize. Reduced exports include nuts, beans and silk. The forests in the north of the country provide a reasonable quantity of timber, which is floated downstream on the Yalu and Tumen rivers. There is not much livestock farming. Fishing is important.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land21.43%2015
forests41.77%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley211000 t2017
cereals, total4 841.3261000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes1 7701000 t2017
roots and tubers, total2 212.51000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages668.6291000 t2017
chillies and peppers53.3581000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry318.3761000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
soybeans223.3251000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops1.9981000 t2017
tobacco83.3051000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton38.9371000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste14.7531000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples782.1431000 t2017
fruits, total1 574.6811000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms5.8831000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley151000 ha2017
maize510.2231000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes157.5691000 ha2017
sweet potatoes34.721000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages28.9481000 ha2017
chillies and peppers25.3181000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry361.9651000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
soybeans149.81000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops4.5761000 ha2017
tobacco55.3611000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton19.6521000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste21.2471000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples68.6261000 ha2017
peaches22.291000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber7 702 4632017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5761000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes5761000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs2 6011000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1681000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats3 6841000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total48.2661000 heads2017
horses48.2661000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds22 3251000 heads2017
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.41000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
eggs1251000 t2017
hides and skins5.2371000 t2013
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs88 800t2017
freshwater fishes14 550t2017
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Minerals


Secondary and tertiary sector.
Coal and lignite are mined in the provinces of Pyeonganbuk, Pyeongannam and Hamgyeongbuk, iron ore at Musan and Unryul, copper at Hyesan, lead and zinc near Dancheon and Gowon. Another important mineral is magnesite (at Dancheon, Daehung and Yongyang), of which the country has large reserves. The iron and steel industry is important (plans at Cheongjin, Seongjin, Gangseon and Cheollima). There are also large chemical plants, which mostly produce fertilizers, as well as mechanical and textile factories. Twenty-five special economic zones dedicated to businesses with foreign capital formally exist. The Gaeseong industrial zone, opened in 2002 in partnership with South Korea, was closed in 2016. There is also a “special tourist zone” on Mt. Geumgang, to which another was added at Gaeseong from 2007. Both are visited by tourists from South Korea. The country has a trade deficit. Its main trading partner is China.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal31 0601000 t2016
coal, total31 0601000 t2016
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper201000 t2015
iron ore4 9001000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fluorspar12.51000 t2013
graphite61000 t2018
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold2 000kg2015
silver50 000kg2015
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro12 672M kWh2016
- thermal3 878.44M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro5 5001000 kW2016
- thermal4 5001000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation16 565.44M kWh2016
total installed capacity10 0101000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cadmium200t2015
coke, metall.185.41000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars3 000no.2018
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol207.51000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia2431000 t2015
fertilizers6061000 t2018
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley351000 t2014
cottonseed oil4.41000 t2014
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp431000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp561000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement5 8321000 t2018
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Trade

Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2018300M US$ -
20171 770M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20182 590M US$ -
20173 781M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Number of arrivals400 000units2002
Receipts150M US$2002
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried103.61000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Daily newspapers208per 1000 pop.2001
Mobiles142.144per 1000 pop.2016
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling10.7years2015
Graduates129 620units2015
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level74 274units2018
Teachers, secondary level123 539units2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds13.2per 1000 pop.2012
Physicians3.5per 1000 pop.2014
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Malaria4 626cases2017
Tuberculosis513per 100 000 pop.2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking10.8%2016
Access to electricity43.871%2017
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