1. World Map /
  2. Asia/
  3. North Korea

North Korea

North Korea's Information

Flag of North Korea
Land Area 120,408 km2
Water Area 130 km2
Total Area 120,538km2 (#97)
Population 25,115,311 (#51)
Population Density 208.59/km2
Government Type Communist State
GDP (PPP) $40.00 Billion
Currency Won (KPW)
More Information North Korea
Largest Cities

Archaeological evidence on the Korean Peninsula indicates that humans inhabited this land some 500,000 years ago.

Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, was founded in 2333 BC by Dangun. They controlled Korea and parts of Manchuria until their collapse in 108 BC, after a series of conflicts with the Han Dynasty. In its aftermath, the Proto-Three Kingdoms emerged.

Among the numerous states that made up the Proto-Three Kingdoms, the most influential were Dongbuyeo and Bukbuyeo. However, it was the states of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla that advanced into the Three Kingdoms of Korea which dominated the Korean Peninsula and certain parts of Manchuria from 57 AD to 668.

The Three Kingdoms unified under Silla in 676, leading to the North South States Period. During this time, the relationship with China remained somewhat peaceful.

Unified Silla weakened as internal conflict prevailed, and in 935 they surrendered to Goryeo. Mongol invasions crippled the Goryeo Dynasty during the 13th century; although Goryeo continued to rule Korea until 1392 as an ally to the Mongols.

Following the Goryeo Dynasty, General Yi Seong-gye (Taejo) organized the Joseon Dynasty. For the next five centuries, internal conflict and civil unrest plagued the region. Conditions only worsened at the onset of the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592 and then by the Manchu invasion of 1627.

Joseon was renamed in 1897 to the Korean Empire, and Emperor Gojong took control.

During the 20th century, Korea saw a significant turn of events. In a land-grab, Japan annexed the entire peninsula in 1905. At the end of World War II (in 1945) Korea was split into North and South, with the 38th parallel the general demarcation line.

After the division of the Korean Peninsula, border conflicts began to intensify between the north and south as both sides fought to gain complete power.

Then, on June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded the south sparking the Korean War, lasting for three years until the north was defeated by a US-backed republic in the south.

North Korea, under its founder President Kim Il Sung, established a socialist economy and a self-reliance policy in foreign policy and national defense.

Kim's son, Kim Jong Il, was officially designated as Kim's successor in 1980, and on his father's death in 1994, he assumed full power.

Under the rule of Kim Jong Il, demoralization swept ruthlessly across the land, and after decades of economic mismanagement and misplaced resource allocations, North Korea now relies heavily on international aid to feed its growing population, while sadly continuing to expend resources to maintain a huge army.

In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the South's President Kim Tae-chung and the North's leader Kim Jong Il.

However, tensions again flared between the two sides as a South Korean navy ship was sunk in 2010 by a reported North Korean torpedo.

Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-Il, was declared supreme leader of North Korea following the death of his father on December 17, 2011.

Recently North Korea's nuclear weapons program has prompted the expressed concerns of China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

North and South Korea are as different as black and white when economies, living conditions and personal freedoms are compared, but on the Korean Peninsula today there are millions of people still hoping for the eventual reunification of their common culture and extended families.

This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.

North Korea Trivia

What Type of Government Does North Korea Have?

The government of North Korea has been dominated by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea since 1948. It has been described as a socialist state and a totalitarian dictatorship.

What Type of Government Does North Korea Have?

What Is The Juche Ideology Of North Korea?

The Juche Ideology is North Korea’s official state ideology. The country’s government works on the basis of this ideology whose core principle states that “man is the master of everything and decides everything. Juche is also considered guide North Korea’s people to inculcate a “spirit of self-reliance” and take an “independent stand.”

What Is The Juche Ideology Of North Korea?

Which Is The Most Popular Religion In North Korea?

Officially, North Korea is an atheist state. 64.3% of the nation’s population is irreligious. Korean Shamanism, Chondoism, Buddhism, and Christianity have a significant presence in the country. The first two of these religions are practiced by 16% and 13.5% of the country’s population respectively.

Religious Beliefs In North Korea

Who is the Current Leader of North Korea?

Kim Jong-Un is the current leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, often called North Korea. He was born on either January 8, 1984 or July 5th, 1984, however, no literature has documented his exact date of birth.

Who is the Current Leader of North Korea?

What is the Biggest City in North Korea?

Pyongyang is North Korea's capital and largest city with more than 3 million residents.

Biggest Cities In North Korea

What Does North Korea Look Like?

North Korea is a highly mountainous country - eight percent of the country is exclusively covered by hills and mountains. Seventy percent of the country is also covered by forest although seventy-three percent of the forest is found in mountainous regions.

10 Facts About North Korea

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

Trending on WorldAtlas

Countries of Asia