Form of Government: Socialist republic
Area: 122 762 sq km
Population: 25 367 900 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 206.64 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 Tok-hun, since 13 August 2020
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

The considerable restrictions on trade with China due to strict measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already precarious economic situation, resulting in a shortage of staple goods.

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 (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate13.8482019
Death rate9.2052019
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 years20.4%2020
15-29 years22.7%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
The slump in imports from China due to the country’s isolation enforced to contain the pandemic was added to the pre-existing international sanctions, worsening the already serious economic situation. 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
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)101.83index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population16 371 296units2020
Active population, Females47.2%2019
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate2.8%2020
Unemployment rate, Females40.2%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses391 310M LCU2005
Revenues391 319M LCU2005
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture51.3%2019
industry13.4%2019
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture21.236%2019
industry44.687%2019
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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 (in the western regions). 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 land21.427%2018
forests50.432%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley19.4011000 t2019
cereals, total5 600.0721000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes684.5871000 t2019
roots and tubers, total1 246.3831000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages636.8291000 t2019
chillies and peppers44.81000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry327.7561000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
soybeans263.921000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops1.9861000 t2019
tobacco90.7021000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton39.1631000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste15.0261000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples805.9651000 t2019
fruits, total1 804.9461000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms6.0031000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley17.721000 ha2019
maize553.821000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes147.1291000 ha2019
sweet potatoes41.1481000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages26.6541000 ha2019
chillies and peppers21.7761000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry371.5661000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
soybeans154.8691000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops4.6871000 ha2019
tobacco59.9151000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton19.5791000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste21.4961000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples70.9161000 ha2019
peaches29.7441000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber7 768 9852019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5781000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes5781000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs2 4511000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1691000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats3 7051000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total48.2641000 heads2019
horses48.2641000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds23 0211000 heads2019
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.41000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
eggs121.5991000 t2019
hides and skins5.0251000 t2019
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs88 900t2019
freshwater fishes18 850t2019
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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
coal17 030.51000 t2019
coal, total17 030.51000 t2019
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper10$1000 t2018
iron ore2 5841000 t2020
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fluorspar12.51000 t2013
graphite5$1000 t2020
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold1 000kg2018
silver20 000kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro13 650M kWh2019
- thermal2 459.04M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro4 8001000 kW2019
- thermal2 9601000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation15 147.14M kWh2018
total installed capacity7 798.781000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cadmium200t2018
coke, metall.173.51000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cars2 000no.2020
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol207.51000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia70$1000 t2016
fertilizers6701000 t2020
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley33.1261000 t2018
cottonseed oil4.1211000 t2018
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp43$1000 t2019
chemi-mechanical pulp56$1000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement5 6851000 t2020
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Trade

Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020110M US$ -
2019280M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020860M US$ -
20192 977M 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 carried109.11000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Daily newspapers208per 1000 pop.2001
Mobiles149.824per 1000 pop.2017
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling10.8years2015
Graduates129 620units2015
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level1 507 780units2018
Students, secondary level2 148 364units2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds13.2per 1000 pop.2012
Physicians3.68per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Malaria1 869cases2019
Tuberculosis513per 100 000 pop.2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking10.8%2019
Access to electricity49.373%2019
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