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Korea, North Geography Profile 2017

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LocationEastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 127 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Areatotal: 120,538 sq km
land: 120,408 sq km
water: 130 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Virginia; slightly smaller than Mississippi
Land boundariestotal: 1,607 km
border countries (3): China 1,352 km, South Korea 237 km, Russia 18 km
Coastline2,495 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
note: 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
Climatetemperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer; long, bitter winters
Terrainmostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; wide coastal plains in west, discontinuous in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 600 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m
Natural resourcescoal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 21.8%
arable land 19.5%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 0.4%
forest: 46%
other: 32.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land14,600 sq km (2012)
Population distributionpopulation concentrated in the plains and lowlands; least populated regions are the mountainous provinces adjacent to the Chinese border; largest concentrations are in the western provinces, particularly the municipal district of Pyongyang, and around Hungnam and Wonsan in the east
Natural hazardslate spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
volcanism: Changbaishan (elev. 2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active
Environment - current issueswater pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; waterborne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - notestrategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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