North Korea (GPS: 40 00 N, 127 00 E) located in Eastern Asia, the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea. The country’s area measurements are total: 120,538 sq km; land: 120,408 sq km, water: 130 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than Virginia, slightly smaller than Mississippi. The total irrigated land is 14,600 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of North Korea: Strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia. The mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Pyongyang’s GPS coordinates are 39 01 N 125 45 E. Pyongyang’s local time is 13.5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+8.5, note; On 15 August 2015, North Korea reverted to UTC+8.5, a time zone observed during pre-colonial times.
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 died in 1994. Under KIM Jong Il’s rein, the DPRK continued developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. KIM Jong Un 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 since occupied the regime’s highest political and military posts.
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 significant concern to the international community and have limited the DPRK’s global engagement, particularly economically. In 2013, the DPRK declared a policy of simultaneous development of its nuclear weapons program and economy.
In late 2017, KIM Jong Un declared the North’s nuclear weapons development complete. In 2018, KIM announced a pivot towards diplomacy, including a re-prioritization of economic growth, a pause in missile testing beginning in late 2017, and a refrain from anti-US rhetoric starting in June 2018. Since 2018, KIM has participated in four meetings with Chinese President XI Jinping, three with ROK President MOON Jae-in, and three with US President TRUMP. Since July 2019, North Korea has restarted its short-range missile tests and issued statements condemning the US.
North Korea’s names conventional long form: The democratic People’s Republic of Korea, traditional short form: North Korea, local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk, local short form: Chosonabbreviation: DPRK, etymology: derived from the Chinese name for Goryeo, which was the Korean dynasty that united the peninsula in the 10th century A.D.; the North Korean name “Choson” means “[land of the] morning calm.” Derived from the Chinese word for Goryeo, which was the Korean dynasty that united the peninsula in the 10th century A.D.; The North Korean name “Choson” means “[Land of the] Morning Calm.”
North Korea’s terrain is typically mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; wide coastal plains in the west, discontinuous in the east. The country’s mean elevation: 600 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m, highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m.
The country’s general climate; temperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer: long, bitter winters.
The total number of border countries is 3, China 1,352 km, South Korea 237 km, Russia 18 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. North Korea’s coastline is 2,495 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Note: military boundary line 50 nautical milesin the Sea of Japan and the exclusive economic zone limit in the Yellow Sea where all foreign vessels and aircraft without permission are banned. Waterways: 2,250 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 21.8%; arable land 19.5%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 0.4%; forest: 46%; other: 32.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in North Korea 25,381,085 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 60.9% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: PYONGYANG (capital) 2.863 million (2015), while North Korea has N/A. Their spoken languages are Korean. Main religions in North Korea are 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 the illusion of religious freedom. The nation uses civil law system based on the Prussian model, a system influenced by Japanese traditions and Communist legal theory. It is a(n) communist state, National holiday(s) Founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948).
Economic overview for the country: North Korea, one of the world’s most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. The industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair due to years of underinvestment, shortages of spare parts, and poor maintenance. Large-scale military spending and development of its ballistic missile and nuclear program severely draw off resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. Industrial and power outputs have stagnated for years at a fraction of pre-1990 levels. Frequent weather-related crop failures aggravated chronic food shortages caused by on-going systemic problems, including a lack of arable land, collective farming practices, poor soil quality, insufficient fertilization, and persistent shortages of tractors and fuel.
The mid-1990s through the mid-2000s marked by severe famine and widespread starvation. The international community provided significant food aid through 2009. Since that time, food assistance has declined significantly. In the last few years, domestic corn and rice production has improved, although domestic production does not fully satisfy demand. A large portion of the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions.
Since 2002, the government has allowed semi-private markets to begin selling a wider range of goods, allowing North Koreans to make up for diminished public distribution system rations partially. It also implemented changes in the management process of communal farms to boost agricultural output. In December 2009, North Korea carried out a redenomination of its currency, capping the amount of North Korean won that could be exchanged for the new notes and limiting the exchange to a one-week window. A concurrent crackdown on markets and foreign currency use yielded severe shortages and inflation, forcing Pyongyang to ease the restrictions by February 2010. In response to the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island’s shelling in 2010, South Korea’s government cut off most aid, trade, and bilateral cooperation activities. In February 2016, South Korea ceased its remaining bilateral economic activity by closing the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test a month earlier. This nuclear test and another in September 2016 resulted in two United Nations Security Council Resolutions that targeted North Korea’s foreign currency earnings, particularly coal and other mineral exports.
Throughout 2017, North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile tests led to a tightening of UN sanctions, resulting in full sectoral bans on DPRK exports and drastically limited key imports. Over the last decade, China has been North Korea’s primary trading partner. The North Korean Government continues to stress its goal of improving the overall standard of living but has taken few steps to make that goal a reality for its populace. In 2016, the regime used two mass mobilizations, one totaling 70 days and another 200 days, to quickly increase production and complete construction projects. The regime released a five-year economic development strategy in May 2016 that outlined plans for promoting growth across sectors. Firm political control remains the government’s overriding concern, which likely will inhibit formal changes to North Korea’s current economic system.
Natural resources of North Korea: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower.
Main export partners for North Korea, Asia are China 75.8% (2015) for minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, agricultural and fishery products, while the main import partners for the country are: China 76.4%, Republic of the Congo 5.5% (2015) for petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grain.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in North Korea: Late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding, occasional typhoons during the early full volcanism: Changbaishan (elevation 2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P’aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that North Korea faces the following environmental issues: Water pollution, Inadequate supplies of potable water, waterborne disease, Deforestation, Soil erosion, and degradation.
You may also be interested in the countries next to North Korea around its total: 1,607 km border, like China, South Korea, Russia.