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Korea, North


    • Location:
      Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and Russia

    • Map references:
      Asia

    • Area:

        total area:
        120,540 sq km

        land area:
        120,410 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than Mississippi

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,673 km, China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km

    • Coastline:
      2,495 km

    • Maritime claims:

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        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

    • International disputes:
      short section of boundary with China is indefinite; Demarcation Line with South Korea

    • Climate:
      temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer

    • Terrain:
      mostly hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east

    • Natural resources:
      coal, lead, tungsten, zinc, graphite, magnesite, iron ore, copper, gold, pyrites, salt, fluorspar, hydropower

    • Land use:

        arable land:
        18%

        permanent crops:
        1%

        meadows and pastures:
        0%

        forest and woodland:
        74%

        other:
        7%

    • Irrigated land:
      14,000 sq km (1989)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        localized air pollution attributable to inadequate industrial controls; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water

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

        international agreements:
        party to - Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

    • Note:
      strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated, nearly inaccessible, and sparsely populated






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Revised 26-August-1997