interesting facts about north korea

13 Notable Facts About North Korea

Looking to boost your knowledge of the world and increase your chances of being crowned the next pub quiz champion? Why not start by learning these 13 interesting facts about North Korea!

1. Where is North Korea?

North Korea is a beautiful and mountainous country in East Asia. It is officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

This country is bordered by China to the north, Russia to the northeast and South Korea to the south. It also has a coastline along the East China Sea to the west and Sea of Japan to the east.

To explore this beautiful land for yourself, head for the coordinates of 40.0000° N, 127.0000° E.

2. It’s a fairly up and down country.

More than 80% of the terrain here is hilly and mountainous – wonderful!

3. North Korea is fairly small.

The total land area of North Korea is 46,541 square miles (120,540 square kilometers) – that’s around half the size of the UK.

North Korea’s population was 26.07 million in 2022 – that’s under half the UK population.

The North Korean Flag
Flag of North Korea

4. What’s the capital of North Korea?

The capital is Pyongyang; it covers an area of 1,233 square miles (3,194 square kilometers) and had a population of 2,863,000 in 2015.

5. It’s pretty chilly out east.

Koreans enjoy a temperate climate with long, cold winters and short, wet summers.

6. There’s barely an inch of tarmac in sight.

Apparently, less than 3% of North Korea’s roads are paved!

7. What’s the official currency here?

North Korean Won is the official currency here.

8. The life expectancy here is fairly impressive.

Koreans live for an average of 73.28 years (2021).

9. North Korea has its own calendar.

North Korea uses the Juche calendar which follows the Gregorian calendar, however, it starts in 1912; the birth year of Kim Il Sung, a previous leader of North Korea. That means that 2015 is actually 104!

Map showing North Korea and Japan

10. Go get a trim!

Fancy a new haircut? In North Korea you must choose from 28 state-approved haircuts!

11. There’s a strange justice system in play.

If you commit a crime in North Korea, not only will you be punished, but so will your parents, grandparents and children!

12. It’s seriously well-protected.

North Korea boasts one of the largest militaries in the world!

North Korean Metro Carriage

13. North Korea actually grows and exports all kinds of things.

North Korea grows corn, rice, soybeans, potatoes and pulses; they also rear cattle, pigs and poultry.

Its industry comprises of machine building, military products, chemicals, electric power, mining, metallurgy, tourism, food processing and textiles. The main exports consist of minerals, manufactures, textiles, metallurgical products, agricultural products and fishery products.

Pyongyang, North Korea
Pyongyang, North Korea

FAQs about North Korea

Can you drink alcohol in North Korea?

Yes - there are no blocks or embargoes on alcohol drinking in North Korea.

Are smartphones banned in North Korea?

No - however, there was a ban in place between 2004 and 2008.

Is North Korea a poor country?

It’s thought that around the half of the nation is in poverty.

Do you know any interesting facts about North Korea? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 24, 2024. Suggest an edit

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