Korea, North

Flag of North Korea
  1. Korea, North Main Page
  2. Partition of Korea Leads to War
  3. Famine Overshadows Nuclear Ambitions
  4. Secretive Government Opens Up in Exchange for Aid
  5. Kim Jong Il and U.S. President Bush Engage in Diplomatic Roller Coaster
  6. North and South Korea Establish Closer Ties
  7. Uncertainty Surrounding Nuclear Program Continues
  8. Tension Between North and South Reaches Crisis Point
  9. Kim Jong-il Dies
  10. Kim Jong-un Launches Satellite and Tests Nuclear Device, Testing International Patience
  11. North Korea Threatens U.S., South Korea with War
  12. Reported Leadership Shuffle Sparks Concern
  13. UN Imposes Further Sanctions after Provocations

More Facts & Figures

National name: Choson Minjujuui Inmin Konghwaguk

Current government officials

Language: Korean

Ethnicity/race: racially homogeneous; small Chinese community, a few ethnic Japanese

Religions: traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)

National Holiday: Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, September 9

Literacy rate: 99% (1991 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $40 billion note: North Korea does not publish any reliable National Income Accounts data; the datum shown here is derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP estimates for North Korea that were made by Angus MADDISON in a study conducted for the OECD; his figure for 1999 was extrapolated to 2007 using estimated real growth rates for North Korea's GDP and an inflation factor based on the US GDP deflator; the result was rounded to the nearest $10 billion; per capita $1,800. Real growth rate: 4%. Inflation: n.a. Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 22.4% (2005). Agriculture: rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs. Labor force: 12.2 million; agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%. Industries: military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism. Natural resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower. Exports: $2.557 billion (2010 est.): minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, fishery products. Imports: $3.529 billion (2010 est.): petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; textiles, grain. Major trading partners: China, South Korea, Bangladesh, Russia (2010).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 1.18 million (2008); mobile cellular: n.a. Broadcast media: no independent media; radios and TVs are pre-tuned to government stations; 4 government-owned TV stations; the Korean Workers' Party owns and operates the Korean Central Broadcasting Station, and the state-run Voice of Korea operates an external broadcast service; the government prohibits listening to and jams foreign broadcasts (2008). Internet hosts: 7 (2010). Internet users: n.a.

Transportation: Railways: total: 5,242 km (2009). Roadways: total: 25,554 km; paved: 724 km; unpaved: 24,830 km (2006). Waterways: 2,250 km; mostly navigable by small craft only. Ports and harbors: Ch'ongjin, Haeju, Hungnam (Hamhung), Kimch'aek, Kosong, Najin, Namp'o, Sinuiju, Songnim, Sonbong (formerly Unggi), Ungsang, Wonsan. Airports: 81 (2012).

International disputes: risking arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, tens of thousands of North Koreans cross into China to escape famine, economic privation, and political oppression; North Korea and China dispute the sovereignty of certain islands in Yalu and Tumen rivers; Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km-wide Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic incidents in the Yellow Sea with South Korea which claims the Northern Limiting Line as a maritime boundary; North Korea supports South Korea in rejecting Japan's claim to Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima).

Major sources and definitions

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