North Korea

Juche Tower

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officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The Amnok, or Yalu, and the Tumen rivers form the border between North Korea and China. A section of the Tumen River in the far northeast is the border with Russia. The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire until it was annexed by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. It was divided into Soviet- and American-occupied zones in 1945, after the end of World War II. North Korea refused to participate in a United Nations–supervised election held in the south in 1948, which led to the creation of separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones. North and South Korea each claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean Peninsula, which led to the Korean War of 1950. The Armistice Agreement of 1953 ended the fighting; but the two countries are officially still at war against each other, for a peace treaty was never signed. Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991. North Korea is a single-party state under a united front led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP). The country's government follows the Juche ideology of self-reliance, developed by the country's first and only President, Kim Il-sung. After his death, Kim Il-sung was declared the country's Eternal President. Juche became the official state ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972, though Kim Il-sung had been using it to form policy since at least as early as 1955. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and a series of natural disasters, a famine occurred, causing the death of 900,000 to 2 million people. Facing these circumstances, leader Kim Jong-Il adopted Songun, or a "military-first" policy in order to strengthen the country and its government. Many outside organizations describe North Korea as a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship with an elaborate cult of personality around the Kim family and one of the lowest-ranking human rights records of any country. The North Korean government denies this association. North Korea is the world's most militarized nation, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. It is a nuclear-weapons state and has an active space program.

Currency North Korean Won (KPW).
Country code 00850
Spoken languages ​​ Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian

Passport: needed, with a remaining validity of at least six months before the date of arrival in the country. For any changes related to the survival of the Passport you should request to be informed beforehand at the Embassy or Consulate of the country present in Italy or at your travel agent.


The healthcare system is very deficient in hospitals where, with the exception of the capital, it is rare to find people able to speak a foreign language. There is difficulty in obtaining medicines. In this regard, it is recommended that you start with a stock of medicines adapted to suit your needs. We recommend that you take out, before embarking on your trip, health insurance include, in addition to the coverage of medical costs, including any return air health or transfer in any other country. Recommended after medical opinion, the following vaccinations against: • hepatitis A and B (very widespread in the country); • encephalitis lethargica (type B or Japanese), if you plan to visit the country during the summer. It is recalled that the vaccine is not readily available in Italy; • the diphtheria, tetanus and polio and prophylaxis against cholera and the plague. For those wishing to travel to southern areas of the country, where malaria is present, albeit in limited form, it is recommended that the appropriate prophylactic and preventive measures to be taken, while staying in the country. In March 2005, the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have reported cases of avian flu animal in some poultry farms in the country, including one near Pyongyang. The same authorities however ensured that you have taken all necessary measures to ensure that the infection will not spread further.


Cold in winter (average temperature in January: -8). In summer temperatures are higher with low humidity than the South (average temperature in August +21 degrees).


Licence: the licence you will need international help. Links with Europe: the capital is connected with flights from Moscow, Beijing, and Shenyang. Inland Transport: travel inside the country are very limited by the authorities. Visitors, on a business trip or tourist, are almost always accompanied by a local guide. The railway network is very limited and the trains are often delayed due to frequent power outages. There is a rail link between Pyongyang and Beijing (four times a week) which is about 24 hours. A very small number of taxis is available outside of the hotels, but taxi drivers are reluctant to climb aboard the foreigners who are not accompanied by a local guide or interpreter.

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