North Korea Overview

North Korea Overview

GENERAL

Official name of the state

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Capital

Pyongyang.

Geography

As a country located in Asia according to searchforpublicschools, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea borders China and the Russian Federation to the north, the Sea of Japan / East Sea to the east, the Yellow Sea to the west and south, and the demilitarized zone that separates it from the Republic of Korea to the south. The country is characterized for the most part by hills, small mountain ranges and endless forests; only a small area can be used for agriculture. The east coast is rocky, with steep cliffs. This area has most of the rivers and waterways.

Government

People’s Republic since 1948. Constitution from 1972, last changes in 1992 and 1998. Parliament: Supreme People’s Assembly (Choe Ko In Min Hoe Ui) with 687 members.

Head of state

Kim Jong-un, since December 2011.

Head of government

Pak Pong Ju, since March 2013.

Electricity

110/220 V, 60 Hz.

Time zone

Pyongyang Time: CET +9: 30

TRAVEL WARNING

Overview Korea (Democratic People’s Republic, North Korea)

Security advice from the Federal Foreign Office: As of: 25.11.2016,
unchanged valid since: 18.11.2016

Country-specific safety information

Political life in North Korea is characterized by sharp rhetoric, which is particularly directed against the USA and South Korea. Claims that the Korean peninsula is on the verge of nuclear war are commonplace. Several fatal incidents have occurred on the inner-Korean border in recent years. In the first months of 2013, after a nuclear test, the termination of the Korean War ceasefire agreement and sharp war threats against South Korea and the USA, the foreign embassies in Pyongyang were even advised to evacuate “for security reasons”. Further nuclear tests took place in January and September 2016.

Even if the situation eased again afterwards: Every visitor to North Korea should expect that the political tensions can also increase quickly and unexpectedly, which could impair their stay in the country, even if personal security is usually not endangered.

North Korean propaganda describes foreign influences as harmful and corrosive to socialism. You have to be careful of foreigners. As a result of these constant calls to be vigilant, there have been multiple attacks on foreigners taking photographs who were walking without Korean companions. Most of the foreigners were arrested by the security forces, but released again after a short time.

Recently, foreigners have been arrested several times for alleged crimes against the Republic of the Republic. Several foreigners were sentenced to long imprisonment or labor camps. A large number of files can be classified as hostile to the Republic. In particular, the carrying and distribution of South Korean, North Korean or religious media of all kinds – including Bibles – is used by the North Korean authorities as a pretext for arrest. German citizens have not yet been affected, but they are called upon to exercise great caution.

Medical care, especially in rural areas, is completely inadequate. Even first aid after car accidents when driving overland may have to wait for hours. Seat belts are often not available in vehicles intended for tourism.

North Korea Overview

MONEY

Currency

1 won = 100 chons. Currency abbreviation: NKW, KPW (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5 commercial vehicles; Coins are in circulation to the denomination of 100, 50, 10 and 1 commercial vehicle as well as 50, 10, 5 and 1 chon.

Credit cards

Credit cards are not accepted. Cash only.

ATMs

Are not available.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currencies is unrestricted, declaration obligation. Export of foreign currencies up to a maximum of the amount imported and declared, minus the amounts exchanged.

Currency Exchange

In fact, foreigners have to pay all expenses in euros, US $ and, in some cases, in Japanese yen. It is not possible to transfer funds to North Korea from abroad. Sufficient cash must be brought with you for the entire trip.

LANGUAGE

Overview

The official language is Korean. Russian and Chinese are e.g. T. commonly used as commercial languages.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

The following items can be imported into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea duty-free:

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco;
1 bottle of spirits.

Import regulations

Food, animals and plants may only be imported with written permission. Personal items such as cameras, watches, jewelry, video equipment, televisions, computers, foreign publications, radios and gifts must be declared upon arrival.

Prohibited imports

The import of cell phones without a North Korean cell phone contract or without a North Korean SIM card, weapons, ammunition, media (books and printed material in Korean, photos, videos, storage media, etc.), explosives, drugs and plant seeds is prohibited.

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Business meetings generally do not take place in business premises or offices, since visitors are not allowed to enter them. Value is placed on punctuality.

Economy

Trade department of the branch office of the embassy of the PR China
Glinkastra├če 5-7, D-10117 Berlin
Tel: (030) 229 3189.

Trade department of the embassy of the DPR Korea
Beckmanngasse 10-12, A-1140 Vienna
Tel: (01) 894 23 11.

DPRK Committee for the promotion of External Economic Cooperation (Committee for the promotion of International trade)
Jungsongdong, Central District, Pyongyang
Tel: (2) 33 39 74th

Business contacts

Trade department of the branch office of the embassy of the PR China
Glinkastra├če 5-7, D-10117 Berlin
Tel: (030) 229 3189.

Trade department of the embassy of the DPR Korea
Beckmanngasse 10-12, A-1140 Vienna
Tel: (01) 894 23 11.

DPRK Committee for the promotion of External Economic Cooperation (Committee for the promotion of International trade)
Jungsongdong, Central District, Pyongyang
Tel: (2) 33 39 74th

COMMUNICATION

Phone

Direct dial-up service only to Pyongyang, the internal telephone network is very small. Calls abroad must be registered through the operator.

Cellphone

GSM 900. Network provider is Sun Net.

Internet

Internet access is prohibited.

Post Office

Mail traffic is slow and quite limited outside the capital. Airmail to Europe takes up to 10 days. Post office opening times: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

NIGHTLIFE

Introduction

An evening performance at the opera is an unforgettable experience. Circus and musical events of a high standard provide further variety.

CULINARY

CULTURE

Religion

Buddhists, Christians, Confucians.

Social rules of conduct

Visitors should be cautious and avoid political issues if possible. Permission should be asked before taking photos. Tipping is not common.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The hottest and rainy season is between July and August. It is coldest between December and January. Spring and autumn are mostly dry and mild.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +850 Area (sqkm) 120538 Population 24983205 Population density (per sqkm) 207 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No

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