- Korea, North
Introduction ::Korea, NorthBackground: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's death in 1994. KIM Jong Un was publicly unveiled as his father's successor in September 2010. Following KIM Jong Il's death in December 2011, the regime began to take actions to transfer power to KIM Jong Un and KIM has now assumed many his father's former titles and duties. After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, the DPRK since the mid-1990s has relied heavily on international aid to feed its population. The DPRK began to ease restrictions to allow semi-private markets, starting in 2002, but then sought to roll back the scale of economic reforms in 2005 and 2009. 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, and 2013; and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community.Geography ::Korea, NorthLocation:Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South KoreaGeographic coordinates:40 00 N, 127 00 EArea:total: 120,538 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 99land: 120,408 sq kmwater: 130 sq kmArea - comparative:slightly smaller than MississippiLand boundaries:total: 1,671.5 kmborder countries: China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 17.5 kmCoastline:2,495 kmMaritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nmexclusive economic zone: 200 nmnote: military boundary line 50 nm in the Sea of Japan and the exclusive economic zone limit in the Yellow Sea where all foreign vessels and aircraft without permission are bannedClimate:temperate with rainfall concentrated in summerTerrain:mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in eastElevation extremes:lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 mhighest point: Paektu-san 2,744 mNatural resources:coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropowerLand use:arable land: 19.08%permanent crops: 1.7%other: 79.22% (2011)Irrigated land:14,600 sq km (2003)Total renewable water resources:77.15 cu km (2011)Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 8.66 cu km/yr (10%/13%/76%)per capita: 360.6 cu m/yr (2005)Natural hazards:late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fallvolcanism: Changbaishan (elev. 2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically activeEnvironment - current issues:water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; waterborne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradationEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollutionsigned, but not ratified: Law of the SeaGeography - note:strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populatedPeople and Society ::Korea, NorthNationality:noun: Korean(s)adjective: KoreanEthnic groups:racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic JapaneseLanguages:KoreanReligions: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 illusion of religious freedomPopulation:24,720,407 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 49Age structure:0-14 years: 21.7% (male 2,726,275/female 2,650,143)15-24 years: 16.4% (male 2,059,388/female 2,005,987)25-54 years: 43.8% (male 5,411,221/female 5,415,744)55-64 years: 8.5% (male 988,922/female 1,108,156)65 years and over: 9.5% (male 798,363/female 1,556,208) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 45.2 %youth dependency ratio: 31.5 %elderly dependency ratio: 13.7 %potential support ratio: 7.3 (2013)Median age:total: 33.2 yearsmale: 31.6 yearsfemale: 34.8 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:0.53% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 149Birth rate:14.49 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 138Death rate:9.15 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 64Net migration rate:-0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 111Urbanization:urban population: 60.3% of total population (2011)rate of urbanization: 0.63% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:PYONGYANG (capital) 2.843 million (2011)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/femaletotal population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Maternal mortality rate:81 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 83Infant mortality rate:total: 25.34 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 76male: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 22.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 69.51 yearscountry comparison to the world: 155male: 65.65 yearsfemale: 73.55 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:1.99 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 131Contraceptive prevalence rate:68.6% (2002)Health expenditures:2% of GDP (2009)country comparison to the world: 189Physicians density:3.29 physicians/1,000 population (2003)Hospital bed density:13.2 beds/1,000 population (2002)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 99% of populationrural: 97% of populationtotal: 98% of populationunimproved:urban: 1% of populationrural: 3% of populationtotal: 2% of population (2010 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 86% of populationrural: 71% of populationtotal: 80% of populationunimproved:urban: 14% of populationrural: 29% of populationtotal: 20% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:NAHIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NAHIV/AIDS - deaths:NAObesity - adult prevalence rate:3.9% (2008)country comparison to the world: 173Children under the age of 5 years underweight:20.6% (2004)country comparison to the world: 31Education expenditures:NALiteracy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 100%male: 100%female: 100% (2008 est.)Government ::Korea, NorthCountry name:conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Koreaconventional short form: North Korealocal long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguklocal short form: Chosonabbreviation: DPRKGovernment type:Communist state one-man dictatorshipCapital:name: Pyongyanggeographic coordinates: 39 01 N, 125 45 Etime difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)Administrative divisions:9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 2 municipalities (si, singular and plural)provinces: Chagang-do (Chagang), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae), Kangwon-do (Kangwon), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan), Yanggang-do (Yanggang)municipalities: Nason-si, P'yongyang-si (Pyongyang)Independence:15 August 1945 (from Japan)National holiday:Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)Constitution:adopted 1948; revised several timesLegal system:civil law system based on the Prussian model; system influenced by Japanese traditions and Communist legal theoryInternational law organization participation:has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCtSuffrage:17 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: KIM Jong Un (since 17 December 2011); note - the rubberstamp Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) reelected KIM Yong Nam in 2009 president of its Presidium with responsibility of representing state and receiving diplomatic credentialshead of government: Premier PAK Pong-ju (since 2 April 2013); Vice Premiers: HAN Kwang Bok (since 7 June 2010), JO Pyong Ju (since 7 June 2010), JON Ha Chol (since 7 June 2010), KANG Nung Su (since 7 June 2010), KANG Sok Ju (since 23 September 2010), KIM In Sik (since 13 April 2012), KIM Rak Hui (since 7 June 2010), KIM Yong Jin (since 6 January 2012), PAK Su Gil (since 18 September 2009), RI Chol Man (since 13 April 2012), RI Mu Yong (since 31 May 2011), RI Sung Ho (since 13 April 2012), RO Tu Chol (since 3 September 2003)cabinet: Naegak (cabinet) members, except for Minister of People's Armed Forces, are appointed by SPA(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: last election held in April 2012; date of next election NAelection results: KIM Jong Un elected unopposedLegislative branch:unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)elections: last held on 8 March 2009 (next to be held in March 2014)election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; ruling party approves a list of candidates who are elected without opposition; a token number of seats are reserved for minor partiesJudicial branch:highest court(s): Supreme Court or Central Court (consists of the chief justice and two ""People's Assessors"" and for some cases, 3 judges)judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Supreme People's Assembly for 5-year termssubordinate courts: provincial, municipal, military, special courts; people' courts (lowest level)Political parties and leaders:major party:Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Jong Un]minor parties:Chondoist Chongu Party [RYU Mi Yong] (under KWP control)Social Democratic Party [KIM Yong Dae] (under KWP control)Political pressure groups and leaders:noneInternational organization participation:ARF, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMODiplomatic representation in the US:none; North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New YorkDiplomatic representation from the US:none; note - Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang represents the US as consular protecting powerFlag description:three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star; the broad red band symbolizes revolutionary traditions; the narrow white bands stands for purity, strength, and dignity; the blue bands signify sovereignty, peace, and friendship; the red star represents socialismNational symbol(s):red starNational anthem:name: ""Aegukka"" (Patriotic Song)lyrics/music: PAK Se Yong/KIM Won Gyunnote: adopted 1947; both North Korea and South Korea's anthems share the same name and have a vaguely similar melody but have different lyrics; the North Korean anthem is also known as ""Ach'imun pinnara"" (Let Morning Shine)Economy ::Korea, NorthEconomy - overview:North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment, shortages of spare parts, and poor maintenance. Large-scale military spending draws off resources needed for investment and civilian consumption. Industrial and power output 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. Large-scale international food aid deliveries as well as aid from China has allowed the people of North Korea to escape widespread starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions. Since 2002, the government has allowed private ""farmers' markets"" to begin selling a wider range of goods. It also permitted some private farming - on an experimental basis - in an effort 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 destroyer Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea's government cut off most aid, trade, and bilateral cooperation activities, with the exception of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex. In 2012, KIM Jong Un's first year of leadership, the North displayed increased focus on the economy by renewing its commitment to special economic zones with China, negotiating a new payment structure to settle its $11 billion Soviet-era debt to Russia, and purportedly proposing new agricultural and industrial policies to boost domestic production. The North Korean government often highlights its goal of becoming a ""strong and prosperous"" nation and attracting foreign investment, a key factor for improving the overall standard of living. Nevertheless, firm political control remains the government's overriding concern, which likely will inhibit fundamental reforms of North Korea's current economic system.GDP (purchasing power parity):$40 billion (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 104$40 billion (2010 est.)$40 billion (2009 est.)note: data are in 2011 US dollars;North Korea does not publish reliable National Income Accounts data; the data shown here are 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 2011 using estimated real growth rates for North Korea's GDP and an inflation factor based on the US GDP deflator; the results were rounded to the nearest $10 billion.GDP (official exchange rate):$28 billion (2009 est.)GDP - real growth rate:0.8% (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 168-0.5% (2010 est.)-0.9% (2009 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$1,800 (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 197$1,800 (2010 est.)$1,900 (2009 est.)note: data are in 2011 US dollarsGDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 23.3%industry: 42.9%services: 33.8% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggsIndustries:military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, limestone, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourismIndustrial production growth rate:NA%Labor force:12.2 millioncountry comparison to the world: 43note: estimates vary widely (2009 est.)Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 35%industry and services: 65% (2008 est.)Unemployment rate:NA%Population below poverty line:NA%Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%highest 10%: NA%Budget:revenues: $3.2 billionexpenditures: $3.3 billion (2007 est.)Taxes and other revenues:11.4% of GDPcountry comparison to the world: 205note: excludes earnings from state-operated enterprises (2007 est.)Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):-0.4% of GDP (2007 est.)country comparison to the world: 55Fiscal year:calendar yearInflation rate (consumer prices):NA%Exports:$4.707 billion (2011)country comparison to the world: 114$3.704 billion (2011 est.)Exports - commodities:minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments), textiles, agricultural and fishery productsExports - partners:China 67.2%, South Korea 19.4%, India 3.6% (2011 est.)Imports:$4.33 billion (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 135$2.934 billion (2010 est.)Imports - commodities:petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment, textiles, grainImports - partners:China 61.6%, South Korea 20%, European Union 4% (2011 est.)Debt - external:$12.5 billion (2001 est.)country comparison to the world: 96Exchange rates:North Korean won (KPW) per US dollar (market rate)155.5 (2012 est.)156.1 (2011 est.)145 (2010 est.)3,630 (December 2008)140 (2007)Energy ::Korea, NorthElectricity - production:20.45 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 71Electricity - consumption:17.12 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 71Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 212Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 203Electricity - installed generating capacity:9.5 million kW (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 57Electricity - from fossil fuels:47.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 160Electricity - from nuclear fuels:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 118Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:52.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 39Electricity - from other renewable sources:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 142Crude oil - production:0 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 150Crude oil - exports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 135Crude oil - imports:8,432 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 77Crude oil - proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 149Refined petroleum products - production:9,133 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 106Refined petroleum products - consumption:15,070 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 143Refined petroleum products - exports:0 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 188Refined petroleum products - imports:7,967 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 135Natural gas - production:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 147Natural gas - consumption:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 158Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 125Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 84Natural gas - proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 152Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:63.69 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 51Communications ::Korea, NorthTelephones - main lines in use:1.18 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 71Telephones - mobile cellular:1 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 155Telephone system:general assessment: adequate system; nationwide fiber-optic network; mobile-cellular service expanding beyond Pyongyangdomestic: fiber-optic links installed down to the county level; telephone directories unavailable; GSM mobile-cellular service initiated in 2002 but suspended in 2004; Orascom Telecom Holding, an Egyptian company, launched W-CDMA mobile service on 15 December 2008 for the Pyongyang area, has expanded service to several large cities and now has a 1-million-person subscriber baseinternational: country code - 850; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean, 1 Russian - Indian Ocean region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing (2011)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 country code:.kpInternet hosts:8 (2012)country comparison to the world: 226Transportation ::Korea, NorthAirports:82 (2013)country comparison to the world: 67Airports - with paved runways:total: 39over 3,047 m: 32,438 to 3,047 m: 221,524 to 2,437 m: 8914 to 1,523 m: 2under 914 m: 4 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 432,438 to 3,047 m: 31,524 to 2,437 m: 17914 to 1,523 m: 15under 914 m:8 (2013)Heliports:23 (2013)Pipelines:oil 6 km (2013)Railways:total: 5,242 kmcountry comparison to the world: 33standard gauge: 5,242 km 1.435-m gauge (3,500 km electrified) (2009)Roadways:total: 25,554 kmcountry comparison to the world: 101paved: 724 kmunpaved: 24,830 km (2006)Waterways:2,250 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2011)country comparison to the world: 38Merchant marine:total: 158country comparison to the world: 37by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 131, carrier 1, chemical tanker 1, container 4, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 12, refrigerated cargo 2foreign-owned: 13 (Belgium 1, China 3, Nigeria 1, Singapore 1, South Korea 1, Syria 4, UAE 2)registered in other countries: 6 (Mongolia 1, Sierra Leone 2, unknown 3) (2010)Ports and terminals:Ch'ongjin, Haeju, Hungnam (Hamhung), Namp'o, Senbong, Songnim, Sonbong (formerly Unggi), WonsanMilitary ::Korea, NorthMilitary branches:North Korean People's Army: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force; civil security forces (2005)Military service age and obligation:18 is presumed to be the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 16-17 is the presumed legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 6,515,279females age 16-49: 6,418,693 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 4,836,567females age 16-49: 5,230,137 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 207,737female: 204,553 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:NATransnational Issues ::Korea, NorthDisputes - international: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)Refugees and internally displaced persons:IDPs: undetermined (periodic flooding and famine during mid-1990s) (2007)Trafficking in persons:current situation: North Korea is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking; in the recent past, many North Korean women and girls lured by promises of food, jobs, and freedom migrated to China illegally to escape poor social and economic conditions only to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitative labor arrangements; North Koreans do not have a choice in the work the government assigns them and are not free to change jobs at will; many North Korean workers recruited to work abroad under bilateral contracts with foreign governments are subjected to forced labor and reportedly face government reprisals if they try to escape or complain to outsiders; thousands of North Koreans, including children, are subjected to forced labor in prison campstier rating: Tier 3 - North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government has conducted no known investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in forced labor or forced prostitution; the government also has reported no efforts to identify or assist trafficking victims and continues to deny human trafficking is a problem; authorities provide no discernible protection services to trafficking victims and does not permit NGOs to assist victims (2013)Illicit drugs:for years, from the 1970s into the 2000s, citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea (DPRK), many of them diplomatic employees of the government, were apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics, including two in Turkey in December 2004; police investigations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine, including an attempt by the North Korean merchant ship Pong Su to deliver 150 kg of heroin to Australia in April 2003"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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