What Continent is North Korea In?

North Korea, visible in red, is located in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea, visible in red, is located in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

The Republic of North Korea was carved from the bigger Korea country in September 1948. The name Korea comes from an ancient word “Goryeo/ Koryp” name given to a kingdom established in the 5th century. When the Persian traders visited the area, they pronounced the word as Korea which stuck to date. Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea.

North Korea is in Asia on the continent's eastern side. The country participates in the affairs and calendar events of the continent as evidenced in games and sports, notably the Asian games since 1974. Bilateral and multilateral trade is witnessed with other Asian countries such as China, Japan, Philippines, and Pakistan. In June 2000, North Korea was admitted to the ARF - (ASEAN Regional forum) of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) that promotes economy and eliminates trade barriers between Asian countries.

History of the Nation

In 1910, the Japanese invaded the Korean region and controlled it until the Second World War when the region was taken over and divided into two zones. The Northern zone was for the Russians while the south was for the Americans. This followed the era of the Cold War when the US and the USSR were bitter rivals economically, politically and technologically. This proved impossible to reunite the nation as one ever again.

In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea in a battle of supremacy between the US and Russia. UN forces joined the south repulsing the military from North Korea. This war ended in 1953 after the intervention of China, but great damage had been done to North Korea’s infrastructure and loss of millions of lives was incurred. Peace was restored and a border demilitarized zone established between the two nations to prevent either side from invading the territory of the other. In 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved and North Korea had to be self-reliant.


North Korea occupies an area of 120,540 square kilometers (46,540 square miles) and borders China, Russia, and South Korea. To the western side are the Yellow Sea and the bay while the Sea of Japan is in the east. The terrain is largely mountainous with deep valleys in between. The tallest mountain is the Paektu at 2,744 meters (9,003 feet). The longest River is Amnok flowing for a distance of 790 kilometers (491 miles). Temperatures vary widely between winter and summer from -13°C to 29°C.

Politics and Governance

North Korea is ruled by only one party called “The Worker's Party of Korea” which is largely dictatorial. The Constitution adopted in 2009 guides the government functions. The citizens are guided by one ideology which regulates their behavior. The Kim dynasty has produced all the rulers where kingship is passed to next of kin in the royal family. King Kim Jong-il and Kim II Sung are the most celebrated rulers.

The Economy

The country ranks as one of the poorest economies in the world. The state controls all the major aspects of finance and economy resulting in mismanagement. The infrastructure is in a desperate state and rarely repaired. Skilled labor is in shortage and the average North Korean lives below poverty line. The currency, the North Koran won, is of negligible value in the international trade.


The country is home to over twenty-five million people most of whom live in plains, and urban centers. Famine and oppression is the order of the day in the country of a few rich but many poor citizens. The official language is Korean. On religious matters, the country is largely atheist with a few Christians and Buddhists.


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