North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang is both the capital and largest city of North Korea. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers; it is bordered to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. North Korea shares a maritime border with Japan to the east. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. North Korea covers an area of 120,540 square kilometers (46,541 sq mi), making it the 105th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is the second-most populous nation in Asia with 25 million people, and is the only nation with both an official state religion and state atheism. The Korean Peninsula was governed by the Joseon dynasty until the end of the 19th century. Following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, the peninsula was divided into Russian and Japanese protectorates, with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910 making Korea a part of the Empire of Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, and no peace treaty was ever signed. North Korea officially describes itself as a "self-reliant" socialist state, and formally holds elections. The Workers' Party of Korea, led by a supreme leader, controls the state, the military, and the media. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution in 1972. The means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education, housing and food production are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, and the population continues to suffer malnutrition. North Korea follows Songun, or "military-first" policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the United States, and India. It possesses nuclear weapons and is one of six recognized nuclear powers. The UN holds annual military exercises with South Korea, and North Korea, as well as its allies, regularly threaten the use of nuclear weapons.

Geographic data

Belongs to
Korean Standard Time


40.00 billion US dollars
North Korean Won

Date format

Gregorian Calendar
First workday
Saturday - Sunday

Measurement units

Measurement system
Length units
Area units
Square kilometer
Square meter
Square centimeter
Speed unit
Kilometer per hour
Temperature unit

Literacy percentage
Official language