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North Korea is located on the northern part of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. It is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and South Korea to the south. To the east, North Korea is bordered by the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and to the west, it is bordered by the Yellow Sea.



North Korea experiences a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are cold and dry. The country’s mountainous terrain influences regional climate variations, with colder temperatures and heavier snowfall in the northern regions.


North Korea’s diverse landscapes are home to various species of flora and fauna. The country’s national parks and protected areas provide habitats for wildlife such as tigers, bears, wild boars, and red-crowned cranes. However, deforestation and habitat loss pose significant threats to North Korea’s biodiversity.

Longest Rivers

The two longest rivers in North Korea are:

  1. Yalu River: The Yalu River forms part of the border between North Korea and China, flowing from the Changbai Mountains into the Yellow Sea. It serves as a vital waterway for transportation and irrigation in the region.
  2. Tumen River: The Tumen River also forms part of the border between North Korea and China, flowing from the Changbai Mountains into the Sea of Japan. It plays a crucial role in the region’s ecosystem and supports local communities along its banks.

Highest Mountains

North Korea’s terrain is predominantly mountainous, with several high peaks and ranges. The highest mountains in North Korea include:

  1. Mount Paektu: Mount Paektu is the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, reaching an elevation of 2,744 meters (9,003 feet). It is considered a sacred mountain in Korean culture and holds significance in North Korean mythology and propaganda.
  2. Mount Kumgang: Mount Kumgang, also known as Diamond Mountain, is renowned for its scenic beauty and cultural significance. It reaches an elevation of 1,638 meters (5,374 feet) and is located near the border with South Korea.



The Korean Peninsula has been inhabited for thousands of years, with evidence of human presence dating back to the Paleolithic era. Ancient Korean kingdoms, such as Gojoseon, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla, emerged in the early centuries CE, laying the foundation for Korean civilization.

Three Kingdoms Period

The Three Kingdoms period (1st century BCE to 7th century CE) saw the emergence of three major Korean kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. These kingdoms engaged in territorial expansion, cultural exchange, and conflict with one another and neighboring states such as China and Japan.

Unified Silla and Goryeo Dynasty

In the 7th century CE, the Silla kingdom unified the Korean Peninsula under its rule, ushering in a period of stability and cultural flourishing known as the Unified Silla period. The subsequent Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) continued Silla’s legacy, fostering advances in literature, art, and technology.

Joseon Dynasty

The Joseon dynasty (1392-1897) brought significant social and political reforms to Korea, including the adoption of Confucianism as the state ideology and the establishment of a centralized bureaucracy. Joseon Korea experienced periods of prosperity and isolation, as well as external pressures from neighboring powers such as China and Japan.

Japanese Occupation

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Korea came under increasing influence from imperial Japan. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan, marking the beginning of a dark period of colonial rule characterized by oppression, exploitation, and cultural suppression.

Division and Korean War

Following Japan’s defeat in World War II, Korea was divided along the 38th parallel into Soviet and American zones of occupation. In 1948, North Korea was established as a communist state under the leadership of Kim Il-sung, while South Korea became a democratic republic. The Korean War (1950-1953) ensued, resulting in significant loss of life and devastation.

Modern Era

Since the Korean War, North Korea has maintained a totalitarian regime under the leadership of the Kim dynasty, with Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un successively ruling the country. The regime has prioritized military strength and ideological purity, while facing international isolation, economic challenges, and human rights abuses.



North Korea has a population of approximately 25 million people, making it one of the most populous countries in East Asia. The population is predominantly ethnic Korean, with small minorities of Chinese and Japanese descent.

Ethnicity and Language

Ethnic Koreans make up the vast majority of North Korea’s population, with the Korean language being the primary spoken and written language.


The government of North Korea promotes state atheism and officially discourages religious practices. However, traditional Korean shamanism, Buddhism, and Confucianism have historically influenced Korean culture and society.

Education and Literacy

Education is highly valued in North Korean society, with compulsory education provided for children up to the age of 16. The government controls the curriculum and emphasizes loyalty to the regime and ideological indoctrination. Despite government claims of universal literacy, access to quality education is limited, and information is tightly controlled.

Administrative Divisions

North Korea is divided into nine provinces, one special city, and two directly governed cities. Each administrative division is further divided into counties (kun), cities (si), and districts (gu). Here is a list of the administrative divisions along with their respective populations:

  1. Pyongyang Directly Governed City – Population: 2.8 million
  2. North Pyongan Province – Population: 2.6 million
  3. South Pyongan Province – Population: 4 million
  4. Chagang Province – Population: 1.2 million
  5. North Hwanghae Province – Population: 2.2 million
  6. South Hwanghae Province – Population: 2.2 million
  7. Kangwon Province – Population: 1.5 million
  8. North Hamgyong Province – Population: 2.3 million
  9. South Hamgyong Province – Population: 3.2 million
  10. Ryanggang Province – Population: 700,000

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in North Korea by population include:

  1. Pyongyang – Population: 2.8 million
  2. Hamhung – Population: 768,551
  3. Chongjin – Population: 627,000
  4. Nampo – Population: 366,815
  5. Sinuiju – Population: 359,341
  6. Wonsan – Population: 329,207
  7. Kaesong – Population: 308,440
  8. Sariwon – Population: 310,100
  9. Haeju – Population: 222,396
  10. Kanggye – Population: 251,971

Education Systems

Education in North Korea is centralized and heavily influenced by the state ideology of Juche, which emphasizes self-reliance and loyalty to the regime. The government provides free education at all levels, but access to higher education is competitive and often dependent on political background and family connections. While North Korea claims to have a highly educated population, outside observers question the quality and accuracy of the education system’s content.



North Korea has several airports, including:

  1. Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (Pyongyang)
  2. Hamhung Airport (Hamhung)
  3. Wonsan Kalma International Airport (Wonsan)
  4. Sunan Airport (Sunan)
  5. Samjiyon Airport (Samjiyon)


North Korea has an extensive railway network operated by the Korean State Railway. The total length of North Korea’s railway network is approximately 5,200 kilometers.


North Korea has a limited network of highways and roads, primarily connecting major cities and towns. The total length of North Korea’s highway network is approximately 31,000 kilometers.


North Korea has several major seaports, including:

  1. Port of Chongjin (Chongjin)
  2. Port of Nampo (Nampo)
  3. Port of Wonsan (Wonsan)
  4. Port of Hamhung (Hamhung)
  5. Port of Rajin (Rajin)

Country Facts

  • Population: 25 million
  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • Official Language: Korean
  • Religion: State atheism
  • Race: Ethnic Korean
  • Currency: North Korean won (KPW)
  • ISO Country Codes: KP
  • International Calling Code: +850
  • Top-Level Domain: .kp