First Impressions of North Korea

First Impressions of North Korea

The special features of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are diverse and remarkable: A history and culture that is more than 5000 years old, beautiful, natural landscapes, e.g. the famous “Diamond Mountains”, particularly impressive the huge maple forests in autumn, where the leaves turn blood red, the unique masses -Performances during the “Arirang Festival”, the unique and sorrowful history of the Korean people, and more. North Korea, a destination with many faces and almost 5 ½ times the size of Switzerland, is worth discovering and is definitely worth a trip. How to travel to North Korea? It is possible to enter North Korea by regular flights operated by AIR KORYO (JS) or AIR CHINA (CA) airlines or by train.

Overnight stays on the train are in 4-bed sleeping car compartments (couchettes), which can be occupied by one person, two, three or four people. The price of the cabin remains unchanged. Call us and let us confirm the individual connections and the prices. A trip to North Korea can be easily combined with a stay in China. It should be noted that both countries require a visa. We are happy to provide you with the visa confirmations for the individual countries and obtain the visas (single or multiple entries) from the various embassies or consulates.


In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and North Korea, the term “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (DPRK) is officially used. Until mid-December 2007, North Korea itself preferred the translation “Korean Democratic People’s Republic” (KDPR) established in the GDR. The designation “Korean People’s Democratic Republic” (KVDR), decreed by the Council of Ministers of the GDR in 1949, was used in the GDR until 1977. At the request of the North Korean government, after Erich Honecker’s state visit to North Korea in 1977, the name was changed to “Korean Democratic People’s Republic”.


In the north, the country borders on the People’s Republic of China, and there is also a 19-kilometer border strip with Russia along the Tumen River. North Korea’s west coast lies on the Korean Bay, part of the Yellow Sea. In the south, the military demarcation line in the middle of the demilitarized zone forms the actual border with South Korea (Republic of Korea). In the east is the Sea of ​​Japan, which the North Koreans refer to as the East Korean Sea. South Korea is also involved in the naming dispute over the Sea of ​​Japan.

Biggest Cities

By far the largest metropolitan area in North Korea is Pyongyang with a population of 3,702,757 (as of January 1, 2005). This means that 16 percent of the country’s people live in the capital region.


According to topmbadirectory, North Korea has an essentially temperate continental climate with four distinct seasons. Annual precipitation falls mainly during the monsoon (jangma) from June to August. The winter months are characterized by cold and drought. In autumn, the country is occasionally hit by typhoons. Such a typhoon hit the northeast of the country particularly hard in August 2015.


North Korea is ethnically homogeneous – apart from a small Chinese minority in the north of the country – and has the lowest percentage of foreigners in the world. It is considered virtually impossible for a foreigner to settle in North Korea. In 2017, 0.2% of the population was foreign-born.


Education in North Korea is compulsory up to the second level and free of charge. Free school uniforms were provided to school children until the early 1990s. The first school level lasts four years, the second school level contains a six-year training. In addition, a previous 1-year visit to the kindergarten is mandatory. The literacy rate is said to be 99 percent. According to Shin Dong-hyuk, children imprisoned in concentration camps receive a rudimentary form of schooling in preparation for forced labour.

First Impressions of North Korea

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