The World Factbook (1982)/Korea, North

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Korea, North


World Factbook (1982) North Korea.jpg
(See reference map VIII)


121,730 km2; 17% arable and cultivated, 74% in forest, scrub, and brush; remainder wasteland and urban

Land boundaries: 1,675 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (economic, including fishing, 200 nm; military 50 nm)

Coastline: 2,495 km


Population: 20,586,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 3.2%

Nationality: noun—Korean(s); adjective—Korean

Ethnic divisions: racially homogeneous

Religion: Buddhism and Confucianism; religious activities now almost nonexistent

Language: Korean

Literacy: 90% (est.)

Labor force: 6.1 million; 48% agriculture, 52% non-agricultural; shortage of skilled and unskilled labor


Official name: Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Type: Communist state; one-man rule

Capital: P'yongyang

Political subdivisions: nine provinces, three special cities (Pyongyang, Kaesong, and Chongjin)

Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; constitution adopted 1948 and revised 1972; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 9 September

Branches: Supreme Peoples Assembly theoretically supervises legislative and judicial function; State Administration Council (cabinet) oversees ministerial operations

Government and party leaders: KIM Il-song, President DPRK and General Secretary of the Korean Workers Party; Yl Chong-ǒk, Premier

Suffrage: universal at age 17

Elections: election to SPA every four years, but this constitutional provision not necessarily followed—last election February 1982

Political party: Korean Workers (Communist) Party; claims membership of about 2 million, or about 11% of population

Member of: FAO, IAEA, ICAO, IPU, IRCS, ITU, UN (observer status only), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO


GNP: $14.1 billion (1979), $750 per capita

Agriculture: main crops—corn, rice, vegetables; food shortages—meat, cooking oils; production of foodstuffs adequate for domestic needs at low levels of consumption

Major industries: machine building, electric power, chemicals, mining, metallurgy, textiles, food processing

Shortages: complex machinery and equipment, coking coal, petroleum

Crude steel: 3.5 million metric tons produced (1979), 187 kg per capita

Electric power: 5,428,000 kW capacity (1980); 35.915 billion kWh produced (1980), 1,829 kWh per capita

Exports: $1,320 million (1979); minerals, chemical and metallurgical products

Imports: $1,300 million (1979); machinery and equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, coking coal

Major trade partners: total trade turnover $2.6 billion (1979); 43% with non-Communist countries, 57% with Communist countries

Aid: economic and military aid from the USSR and China

Monetary conversion rate: 1.79 won=US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 4,535 km total operating in 1980; 3,870 km standard gauge (1.435 m), 665 km narrow gauge (0.762 m); 159 km double tracked; about 2,940 km electrified; government owned

Highways: about 20,280 km (1980); 98.5% gravel, crushed stone, or earth surface; 1.5% concrete or bituminous

Inland waterways: 2,253 km; mostly navigable by small craft only

Ports: 6 major, 26 minor


Military manpower: males 15-49, 4,658,000; 2,852,000 fit for military service; 231,000 reach military age (18) annually