|Non-knit women’s coats|
|Non-knit men’s coats|
|Synthetic filament yarn woven fabric|
North Korea is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from the Kingdom of Goguryeo, also spelled as Koryŏ. The capital and largest city are Pyongyang. North Korea shares a land border with China to the north and northwest, along with the Amnok (Yalu) and Tumen rivers, and a small section of the Tumen River also forms a border with Russia to the northeast. The Korean Demilitarized Zone marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea.
The North’s initial phase of economic development was dominated by industrialization, which was impressive considering the devastation caused by the Korean War. The country moved on the Soviet model along with the ideology of Juche (self-reliance). It emphasized heavy industry development as laid out in its policies, as a result, heavy industry – iron, steel, cement and machine tool sectors got a push. There was a steady increase in industrial output in the 1960s but trouble started to brew in the 1970s.
North Korea, which was barely able to manage its debt, was hit by the oil shock that rapidly increased the petroleum prices. The prices of North Korea’s main exports nosedived while it had to pay more for its imports. The problem of trade deficit surfaced which weakened its repayment capabilities, further aggravating the issue of external debt. The economy began to slow down.
North’s the economy in the 1980s shows symptoms of malfunctioning in its centralized planned system in the form of supply shortages, systemic inefficiency, mechanical obsolescence, and infrastructural decay. North tried to resolve its problems through its highly-centralized ways of functioning, refusing to open up the economy or liberalize its economic management. The rigidity in approach drifted the region towards stagnation.
|Agriculture||Rice, fruits, potatoes, milk & other crops.|
|Manufacture||Coal, steel, metal-cutting machines, tractors, passenger cars, chemical fertilizers, chemical fibers, cement & textiles.|
|Services (Including financial)||31% (2014 estimate)|
|Central Bank of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea||Banking|
|Kim Chong-tae Electric Locomotive Works||Railway|
|Korea General Zinc Industry Group||Metal & Mining|
|Korea Ferrous Metals Export & Import Corporation||Steel|
|Non-knit women’s coats|
|Non-knit men’s coats|
|Synthetic filament yarn woven fabric|
The elite sector, led by Kim Jong-Il, controls the core areas of foreign currency earning businesses, including gold mines, zinc refining and exports of high end agricultural and fishery products. Led by the Communist Party’s foreign currency earnings department, so-called ‘ Room 38,’ North Korea is going all-out to accumulate more foreign currencies through several institutions assigned to foreign-currency denominated earnings, such as hotels, foreign currency shops, restaurants, and banks. This is the common practice for military authorities as well.
Under these circumstances, the global economic crisis could deal a blow on businesses, tourism income, and international investment in-flows. North Korea is also earning foreign currency through overseas construction, restaurants and sewing businesses. The global crisis is expected to cause trouble in North Korea’s foreign trade, especially with China. North Korea-China trade accounts for about 25% of the country’s real economy.
For North Korea, which is totally dependent on imports of strategic resources such as crude oil, a possible decline in international raw material prices resulting from the global economic recession could be a favorable factor. However, a change in international raw material prices would not be completely advantageous to North Korea considering that it has imported raw materials from China at levels cheaper than market prices under mutually favorable transaction agreements (considered “ hidden aid” from China). The global economic crisis may in fact cause trouble for North Korea’s exports of raw materials.
The Empire of Japan annexed Korea in 1910. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones by the United States and the Soviet Union, with the north occupied by the Soviets and the south by the Americans. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948 two separate governments were formed: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–53). Although the Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, no official peace treaty was ever signed. Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991.
Over time North Korea has gradually distanced itself from the world communist movement. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution as a "creative application of Marxism–Leninism" in 1972. The means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education, housing and food production are subsidized or state-funded. In the late 1990s, North Korea suffered from a famine that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. North Korea continues to struggle with food production to this day.
Sun Myung Moon
(World Leader, 1912-1994)
(World Leader, 1875-1965)
The won (KPW) or Korean People's Won is the official currency of North Korea. It is subdivided into 100 chon. The won is issued by the Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, based in the capital city, Pyongyang. Although, the official currency of South Korea is issued by the Bank of Korea based in Seoul, is divided into the same number of units, and is known as the South Korean won, the two currencies are used quite differently. The won became the currency of North Korea on December 6, 1947, replacing the Korean yen that was still in circulation.
North Korean won are intended exclusively for North Korean citizens, and the Bank of Trade issued a separate currency (or foreign exchange certificates) for visitors, like many other socialist states. However, North Korea made two varieties of foreign exchange certificates, one for visitors from "socialist countries" which were colored red and hence nicknamed "red won", and the other for visitors from "capitalist countries" which were colored blue/green and hence known as "blue won". FECs were used until 1999, then officially abolished in 2002, in favor of visitors paying directly with hard currency, especially the euro. Since at least 2012 foreigners (and privileged locals) can buy goods priced in 'tied' won using a local debit card, which they have to credit with exchanging foreign currency (Euro, United States dollar or Renminbi/Yuan) at the official bank rate. One euro would provide a credit of 130 won. This card can be used for instance at the famous Pyongyang Store or at the different stores at the international hotels, where the goods are priced at the tied won rate. This tied won does not exist in the form of bank notes. In normal stores and markets, goods are priced in what has been called the 'untied' won or free market rate and regular banknotes can be used here. At for instance the Tongil Market and the Kwangbok Department Store (a.k.a. the Chinese Market) there are semi-official exchange agents who will give in regular banknotes around 10,000 won for one euro (2012) to locals and foreigners alike, so almost 77 times as much as the tied rate. However, the prices in the normal shops outside the tied won and restricted state shops are also based on this untied won rate.
The first North Korean coins for circulation were minted in 1959 in the denominations of 1, 5, and 10 chon. These coins were often restruck with the original dates in later years; however, 1970 and 1974 dates also appear on the 1 and 5 chon. In 1978, 50 chon coins featuring the Chollima horse statue and rising sun were introduced into circulation during the 1979 currency reform to allow greater flexibility for vendors by eliminating the 50 chon banknote and large amounts of "small change" coinage carried. In 1987, 1-won coins featuring the Grand People's Study House were introduced but did not fully replace the 1 won note, which remained legal tender. After 2003, these coins were rarely seen in circulation but were still redeemable. Later, a new set of coins was introduced in 2005 in denominations of 5, 10, 50, and 100 won. These coins were less impressive compared to the older series, is very plain and generic in design. All circulation coins of the Second Won were struck in aluminum.
The first banknotes of "North Korea" were issued in 1945 by the Russian backed provisional government above the 38th parallel. These were in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 100 won. These were discontinued shortly after Soviet forces withdrew and recognized the newly independent state. This currency was issued in all banknote form, with the first banknotes of this issue in denominations of 15, 20, and 50 chon along with 1, 5, 10 and 100 won in 1947. The chon notes had stylized art designs while the won denominations were uniform in design featuring a farmer and a worker standing together and holding the symbolic tools. This currency was later revalued in 1959 at a rate of one new won to 100 old won to fix the inflation that had occurred as a result of the Korean War. In 1959, the old one was replaced with the Second Won, with price and exchange rates fixed to the U.S. dollar. This banknote series was issued in denominations of 50 chon, and 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 won. These notes were much larger than the previous issue and depicted images representing various industries in the economy. In 1979, the currency was again reformed, and a new banknote series was issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 won.
|Currency||South Korean won (KRW)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||$15.1 (2015 nominal) Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||1.0 (2014) Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$n/a (PPP)|
UTC+09:00 (Pyongyang Time)
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Jews
12.9% Other Religions
Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea – Kim Jong-un
Supreme Leader – Kim Jong-un
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||n/a Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||4.276 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|