Statistical information North Korea 1995North%20Korea

Map of North Korea | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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North Korea in the World
North Korea in the World

North Korea - Introduction 1995
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Background: At the end of World War II, the US and the Soviet Union agreed that US troops would accept the surrender of Japanese forces south of the 38th parallel and the Soviet Union would do so in the north. In 1948, the UN proposed nationwide elections; after P'yongyang's refusal to allow UN inspectors in the north, elections were held in the south and the Republic of Korea was established. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established the following month in the north. Communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea in 1950. US and other UN forces intervened to defend the South and Chinese forces intervened on behalf of the North. After a bitter three-year war, an armistice was signed in 1953, establishing a military demarcation line near the 38th parallel. The North's heavy investment in military forces has produced an army of 1 million troops equipped with thousands of tanks and artillery pieces. Despite growing economic hardships, North Korea continues to devote a significant portion of its scarce resources to the military.

North Korea - Geography 1995
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Location: Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and Russia

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAsia

Total area total: 120,540 km²
Land: 120,410 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Mississippi

Land boundaries: total 1,673 km, China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km

Coastline: 2,495 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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 banned

Climate: temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer

Terrain: mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east


Natural resources: coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 18%
Permanent crops: 1%
Meadows and pastures: 0%
Forest and woodland: 74%
Other: 7%

Irrigated land: 14,000 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated, nearly inaccessible, and sparsely populated

North Korea - People 1995
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Population: 23,486,550 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 1.78% (1995 est.)

Noun: Korean(s)
Adjective: Korean

Ethnic groups: racially homogeneous

Languages: Korean

Religions: Buddhism and Confucianism, some Christianity and syncretic Chondogyo
Note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 30% (female 3,402,672; male 3,540,313)
15-64 years: 66% (female 7,840,465; male 7,741,155)
65 years and over: 4% (female 622,250; male 339,695) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.78% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 23.31 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.47 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: localized air pollution attributable to inadequate industrial controls; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
Current issues natural hazards: late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
Current issues international agreements: party to - Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 26.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 70.05 years
Male: 66.96 years
Female: 73.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.34 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write Korean (1990 est.)
Total population: 99%
Male: 99%
Female: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

North Korea - Government 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Conventional short form: North Korea
Local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk
Local short form: none
Note: the North Koreans generally use the term "Choson" to refer to their country

Government type: Communist state; Stalinist dictatorship

Capital: P'yongyang

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 3 special cities* (jikhalsi, singular and plural; Chagang-do (Chagang Province), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong Province), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong Province), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae Province), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae Province), Kaesong-si* (Kaesong City), Kangwon-do (Kangwon Province), Namp'o-si* (Namp'o City), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan Province), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan Province), P'yongyang-si* (P'yongyang City), Yanggang-do (Yanggang Province)

Dependent areas

Independence: 9 September 1948
Note: 15 August 1945, date of independence from the Japanese and celebrated in North Korea as National Liberation Day

National holiday: DPRK Foundation Day, 9 September (1948)

Constitution: adopted 1948, completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992

Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: KIM Chong-il, is the son of and designated successor to former President KIM Il-song (who died 8 July 1994); formal succession has not yet taken place (January 1995); election last held 24 May 1990 (next to be held by NA); results - President KIM Il-song was reelected without opposition
Head of government: Premier KANG Song-san (since December 1992)
Cabinet: State Administration Council; appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral
Supreme People's Assembly Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui: elections last held on 7-9 April 1990 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (687 total) the KWP approves a single list of candidates who are elected without opposition; minor parties hold a few seats

Judicial branch: Central Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ESCAP, FAO, G-77, ICAO, IFAD, IFRCS, IMO, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none
From the us: none

Flag descriptionflag of North%20Korea: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

North Korea - Economy 1995
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Economy overview: More than 90% of this command economy is socialized; agricultural land is collectivized; and state-owned industry produces 95% of manufactured goods. State control of economic affairs is unusually tight even for a Communist country because of the small size and homogeneity of the society and the strict rule of KIM Il-song in the past and now his son, KIM Chong-il. Economic growth during the period 1984-88 averaged 2%-3%, but output declined by 3%-5% annually during 1989-92 because of systemic problems and disruptions in socialist-style economic relations with the former USSR and China. In 1992, output dropped sharply, by perhaps 7%-9%, as the economy felt the cumulative effect of the reduction in outside support. The leadership insisted on maintaining its high level of military outlays from a shrinking economic pie. Moreover, a serious drawdown in inventories and critical shortages in the energy sector have led to increasing interruptions in industrial production. Abundant mineral resources and hydropower have formed the basis of industrial development since World War II. Output of the extractive industries includes coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals. Manufacturing is centered on heavy industry, including military industry, with light industry lagging far behind. Despite the use of improved seed varieties, expansion of irrigation, and the heavy use of fertilizers, North Korea has not yet become self-sufficient in food production. Indeed, a shortage of arable lands, several years of poor harvests, and a cumbersome distribution system have resulted in chronic food shortages. The collapse of Communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989-91 has disrupted important technological links. North Korea remains far behind South Korea in economic development and living standards. GDP is stagnant.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 0% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for about 25% of GDP and 36% of work force; principal crops - rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; livestock and livestock products - cattle, hogs, pork, eggs; not self-sufficient in grain

Industries: machine building, military products, electric power, chemicals, mining, metallurgy, textiles, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: -7% to -9% (1992 est.)

Labor force: 9.615 million
By occupation agricultural: 36%, nonagricultural 64%
Note: shortage of skilled and unskilled labor (mid-1987 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $19.3 billion
Expenditures: $19.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $1.02 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: minerals, metallurgical products, agricultural and fishery products, manufactures (including armaments)
Partners: China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Germany, Hong Kong

Imports: $1.64 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: petroleum, grain, coking coal, machinery and equipment, consumer goods
Partners: China, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $8 billion (1992 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: North Korean won (Wn) per US$1 - 2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990), 2.3 (December 1989)

North Korea - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 50 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 2,053 kWh (1993)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

North Korea - Communication 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: telephone system is believed to be available only to government officials and not to private individuals
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 1 earth station near P'yongyang, uses an Indian Ocean INTELSAT satellite; other international connections through Moscow and Beijing

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

North Korea - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: about $5 billion, 20%-25% of GDP (1991 est.), note - the officially announced but suspect figure is $2.2 billion (1994), about 12% of total spending

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

North Korea - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 49
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 15
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 2
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2438 m: 5
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 12
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 6

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 15
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2438 m: 5
914 to 1523 m: 12
Under 914 m: 6


Pipelines: crude oil 37 km



Waterways: 2,253 km; mostly navigable by small craft only

Merchant marine
Total: 87 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 727,631 GRT/1,149,291 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 70, combination bulk 1, oil tanker 3, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 1, short-sea passenger 1
Note: North Korea owns an additional 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling approximately 32,405 DWT that operate under Honduran registry

Ports and terminals

North Korea - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: short section of boundary with China is indefinite; Demarcation Line with South Korea

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Crystal Travel

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