Area: 120,410 sq. km. (47,000 sq. mi.), about the size of
Cities: Capital--Pyongyang. Other cities--Hamhung,
Chongjin, Wonsan, Nampo, and Kaesong.
Terrain: About 80% of land area is moderately high mountains
separated by deep, narrow valleys and small, cultivated plains. The
remainder is lowland plains covering small, scattered areas.
Climate: Long, cold, dry winters; short, hot, humid, summers.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Korean(s).
Population (2004): 22.7 million.
Annual growth rate: About +0.98%.
Ethnic groups: Korean; small Chinese and ethnic Japanese
Religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Shamanism, Chongdogyo, Christian;
autonomous religious activities have been virtually nonexistent
Education: Years compulsory--11. Attendance--3 million
(primary, 1.5 million; secondary, 1.2 million; tertiary, 0.3
Health (1998): Medical treatment is free; one doctor for every 700
inhabitants; one hospital bed for every 350; there are severe
shortages of medicines and medical equipment. Infant mortality
rate--25/1,000. Life expectancy--males 68 yrs.,
females 74 yrs (2004 est.).
Type: Highly centralized communist state.
Independence: August 15, 1945--Korean liberation from Japan;
September 9, 1948--establishment of the Republic of Korea, marking
its separation from North Korea.
Constitution: 1948; 1972, revised in 1992 and 1998.
Branches: Executive--President of the Presidium of the
Supreme People's Assembly (chief of state); Chairman of the National
Defense Commission (head of government). Legislative--Supreme
People's Assembly. Judicial--Central Court; provincial, city,
county, and military courts.
Subdivisions: Nine provinces; four province-level municipalities
(Pyongyang, Kaesong, Chongjin, Nampo); one free trade zone (Najin-Sonbong
Political party: Korean Workers' Party (communist).
Suffrage: Universal at 17.
GDP (2004): $40 billion (purchasing power parity); 30% agriculture,
34% industry, 36% services (2002).
Per capita GDP (2004): $1,700 (purchasing power parity).
Agriculture: Products--rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans,
pulses; cattle, pigs, eggs.
Mining and manufacturing: Types--military products; machine
building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, etc.),
metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism.
Trade (2003): Exports--$1.2 billion; minerals,
metallurgical products, manufactures; textiles, fishery products.
The D.P.R.K. also earns hundreds of millions of dollars from the
sale of missiles, narcotics and counterfeit items such as
cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, and U.S. currency. Imports--$2.1
billion: petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; textiles,
grain. Major partners--China, R.O.K., Japan, Thailand,
*In most cases, the figures used above are estimates based upon
incomplete data and projections.