Country: NORTH KOREAnorth korea

Capital: Pyongyang

Geographic Coordinates: 40 00 N, 127 00 E

Population: 22,757,275 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Buddhism, Confucianism

Language: Korean

Government Type: Communist state one-man dictatorship 

Chief of State: KIM Jong Il; Head of Government: Premier CHOE Yong Rim

Main Industries: military products; machine building, electric power, chemicals; mining (coal, iron ore, limestone, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, and precious metals), metallurgy; textiles, food processing; tourism

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $1,900 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: North Korean won (KPW)

Life Expectancy: 60 years (men), 69 years (women) (UN) 

Environment - current issues:  Water pollution; Inadequate supplies of potable water; Waterborne disease; Deforestation; Soil erosion and degradation

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • About 20% of children under the age of two suffer from diarrhoeal diseases caused by contaminated water and poor hygiene practices.
  • Approximately one third of mothers are malnourished and anaemic, a rate that has not improved since 2002.
  • A lack of high-quality obstetric care contributes to a reported maternal mortality rate of 110 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • Learning methods have not evolved in step with international standards. Combined with the shortages of textbooks and materials, this is negatively affecting the quality of education.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Rodong Sinmun (Labour Daily), Joson Inmingun (Korean People's Army Daily; Minju Choson (Democratic Korea), Rodongja Sinmum (Workers' Newspaper); Radio and TV: Korean Central Broadcasting Station, Korean Central TV

Interesting Fact: Radio and TV sets in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations that pump out a steady stream of propaganda. Ordinary North Koreans caught listening to foreign broadcasts risk harsh punishments, such as forced labour. The official president of North Korea is still Kim Il-Sung, even though he died in 1994.

Famous for: Juche (ideology of self reliance), Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, nuclear weapons programme, Mass Games