Flag of Korea, North

Korea, North Geography Profile

Home > Factbook > Countries > Korea, North

Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea
Geographic coordinates
40 00 N, 127 00 E
Map references
total: 120,538 sq km
land: 120,408 sq km
water: 130 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Virginia; slightly smaller than Mississippi
Land boundaries
total: 1,607 km
border countries (3): China 1352 km, South Korea 237 km, Russia 18 km
2,495 km
Maritime claims
territorial 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

temperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer; long, bitter winters
mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; wide coastal plains in west, discontinuous in east
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 600 m
lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m
Natural resources
coal, iron ore, limestone, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, precious metals, hydropower
Land use
agricultural land: 21.8% (2011 est.)
arable land: 19.5% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.9% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0.4% (2011 est.)
forest: 46% (2011 est.)
other: 32.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
14,600 sq km (2012)
Population distribution
population 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 hazards

late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall

volcanism: Changbaishan (2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active

Environment - current issues
water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; waterborne disease; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation
Environment - international agreements
party 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 - note
strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated and sparsely populated

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

Geography Comparison