North Korea - At a glance

North Korea at a glanceTomb of King Kong Min, Kaesong, North Korea by Eric Lafforgue,

Location Northeast Asia: China and Russia are along the northern borders; South Korea (the Republic of Korea, ROK) to the south; Japan to the east

Area 120,540km2

Climate Long, cold winters; short, hot, humid and rainy summers

Population 22,225,000

Capital Pyongyang

Main towns Kaesong, Wonsan, Hamhung, Nampo, Chongjin, Kangye, Sinuiju

Currency Won; North Korean Won is referred to as KPW (1 won = 100 chon); for up-to-date exchange rates, go to

Official language Korean

(Photo: The tomb of King Kong Min near Kaesong © Eric Lafforgue,

Religion Atheist

Ethnic divisions Racially homogeneous; there is a very small Chinese community.

Type of government Authoritarian socialist dictatorship

International telephone code +850

Time GMT +9

Weights and measures Metric

Electricity 220v, 60Hz

Flag Three horizontal bands, blue–red–blue, with thin white lines dividing them; off-centre-left of the red band is a white circle with a red, five-pointed star.

Public holidays 1 January (New Year’s Day), 16 February (Kim Jong Il’s birthday), 15 April (Kim Il Sung’s birthday), 25 April (Army Day), 1 May (May Day), 8 July (Memorial day to Kim Il Sung’s death), 27 July (Victory Day), 15 August (Independence from Japan Day), 9 September (Republic Foundation Day), 10 October (Korean Workers’ Party Foundation Day), 27 December (Constitution Day)

Important commemoration days 20 February (Machine Workers’ Day), 5 March (Farmers’ Day), 8 March (International Women’s Day), 22 March (Fishermen’s Day), 5 April (Public Health Day), 6 April (Reforestation Day), 8 April (Communications Day), 11 May (Railway Day), 15 May (Geological Survey Day), 21 May (Builders’ Day), 1 June (International Children’s Day), 6 June (Day of the Foundation of Korean Children’s Union), 7 June (Local Industry Day), 1 July (Miners’ Day), 7 July (Coal-Miners’ Day), 10 August (Forestry Workers’ Day), 20 August (Air Force Day), 28 August (Navy Day and Youth Day), 5 September (City Administration Day), 15 September (Commerce Day), 9 October (Metal Workers’ Day), 14 October (Broadcasting Workers’ Day), 15 October (Textile Industry Day), 1 November (Press Day), 16 November (Land and Marine Transport Day), 6 December (Chemical Industry Day).

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