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Korea, North (2001)

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Korea, North 2001 year

 Korea, North
Administrative divisions 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 3 special cities* (si, 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)
Age structure 0-14 years:
25.52% (male 2,873,390; female 2,733,163)

15-64 years:
67.63% (male 7,301,531; female 7,556,554)

65 years and over:
6.85% (male 486,805; female 1,016,785) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, pulses; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs
Airports 87 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
8 (2000 est.)
Area total:
120,540 sq km

120,410 sq km

130 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Mississippi
Background Following World War II, Korea was split into a northern, communist half and a southern, Western-oriented half. KIM Chong-il has ruled North Korea since his father and the country's founder, president KIM Il-song, died in 1994. After decades of mismanagement, the North relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population, while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of about 1 million. North Korea's long-range missile development and research into nuclear and chemical weapons are of major concern to the international community.
Birth rate 19.1 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:

$NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Capital P'yongyang
Climate temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer
Coastline 2,495 km
Constitution adopted 1948, completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992 and September 1998
Country name conventional long form:
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

conventional short form:
North Korea

local long form:

local short form:

the North Koreans generally use the term "Choson" to refer to their country

Currency North Korean won (KPW)
Death rate 6.92 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $12 billion (1996 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US none (Swedish Embassy in P'yongyang represents the US as consular protecting power)
Diplomatic representation in the US none; note - North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, headed by YI Hyong-chol
Disputes - international 33-km section of boundary with China in the Paektu-san (mountain) area is indefinite; Demarcation Line with South Korea
Economic aid - recipient $NA; note - an estimated $200 million to $300 million in humanitarian aid from US, South Korea, Japan, and EU in 1997 plus much additional aid from the UN and non-governmental organizations; substantial continuing humanitarian aid, 1998-2000
Economy - overview North Korea, one of the world's most centrally planned and isolated economies, faces desperate economic conditions. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and spare parts shortages. The nation faces its seventh year of food shortages because of weather-related problems, including major drought in 2000, and chronic shortages of fertilizer and fuel. Massive international food aid deliveries have allowed the regime to escape the major consequence of spreading economic failure, such as mass starvation, but the population remains vulnerable to prolonged malnutrition and deteriorating living conditions. Large-scale military spending eats up resources needed for expanding investment and consumption goods. In 2000, the regime placed emphasis on expanding foreign trade links, embracing modern technology, and attracting foreign investment, but in no way at the expense of relinquishing central control over key national assets or undergoing market-oriented reforms.
Electricity - consumption 26.598 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 28.6 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Sea of Japan 0 m

highest point:
Paektu-san 2,744 m
Environment - current issues water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; water-borne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation
Environment - 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
Ethnic groups racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese
Exchange rates official: North Korean won per US dollar - 2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990), 2.3 (December 1989); market: North Korean won per US dollar - 200
Executive branch chief of state:
KIM Chong-il (since NA July 1994); note - in September 1998, KIM Chong-il was reelected Chairman of the National Defense Commission, a position accorded the nation's "highest administrative authority"; KIM Yong-nam was named President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium and given the responsibility of representing the state and receiving diplomatic credentials

head of government:
Premier HONG Song-nam (since 5 September 1998)

Cabinet (Naegak), members, except for the Minister of People's Armed Forces, are appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly

premier elected by the Supreme People's Assembly; election last held NA September 1998 (next to be held NA)

election results:
HONG Song-nam elected premier; percent of Supreme People's Assembly vote - NA%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $520 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities minerals, metallurgical products, manufactures (including armaments); agricultural and fishery products
Exports - partners Japan 28%, South Korea 21%, China 5%, Germany 4%, Russia 1% (1995)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $22 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


28% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 40 00 N, 127 00 E
Geography - note strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated
Highways total:
31,200 km

1,997 km

29,203 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $960 million (c.i.f., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities petroleum, coking coal, machinery and equipment; consumer goods, grain
Imports - partners China 33%, Japan 17%, Russia 5%, South Korea 4%, Germany 3% (1995)
Independence 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism
Infant mortality rate 23.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) NA%
International organization participation ARF (dialogue partner), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 14,600 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Central Court (judges are elected by the Supreme People's Assembly)
Labor force 9.6 million
Labor force - by occupation agricultural 36%, nonagricultural 64%
Land boundaries total:
1,673 km

border countries:
China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

23% (1993 est.)
Languages Korean
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
Legislative branch unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

last held 26 July 1998 (next to be held NA 2003)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - the KWP approves a single list of candidates who are elected without opposition; minor parties hold a few seats
Life expectancy at birth total population:
71.02 years

68.04 years

74.15 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write Korean

total population:


99% (1990 est.)
Location Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Map references Asia
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
Merchant marine total:
110 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 661,792 GRT/903,367 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 4, cargo 94, combination bulk 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 1, short-sea passenger 2 (2000 est.)
Military branches Korean People's Army (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), Civil Security Forces
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3.7 billion to $4.9 billion (FY98 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 25% to 33% (FY98 est.)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
5,943,735 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
3,574,050 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
179,136 (2001 est.)
National holiday Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
Natural resources coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 37 km; petroleum product 180 km
Political parties and leaders Chondoist Chongu Party [YU Mi-yong, chairwoman]; Korean Social Democratic Party [KIM Pyong-sik, chairman]; major party - Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Chong-il, General Secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 21,968,228 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.22% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Ch'ongjin, Haeju, Hungnam (Hamhung), Kimch'aek, Kosong, Najin, Namp'o, Sinuiju, Songnim, Sonbong (formerly Unggi), Ungsang, Wonsan
Radio broadcast stations AM 16, FM 14, shortwave 12 (1999)
Radios 3.36 million (1997)
Railways total:
5,000 km

standard gauge:
4,095 km 1.435-m gauge (3,500 km electrified; 159 km double track)

narrow gauge:
665 km 0.762-m gauge

dual gauge:
240 km 1.435-m and 1.600-m gauges (four rails interlaced) (1996 est.)
Religions traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)

autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.48 male(s)/female

total population:
0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 17 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:


satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Russian (Indian Ocean region); other international connections through Moscow and Beijing
Telephones - main lines in use 1.1 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 38 (1999)
Terrain mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east
Total fertility rate 2.26 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways 2,253 km

mostly navigable by small craft only
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