President Kim Yong-nam since 1998 serving under leader Kim Jong-un since 2011.
Head of government:
Premier Pak Pong-ju since 2013.
110/220 volts AC, 60Hz.
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) shares borders with China, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the demilitarised zone (separating it from the Republic of Korea).
North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, was completely rebuilt after the Korean War as a city of wide avenues, neatly designed parks and enormous marble public buildings. The Palace of Culture, the Grand Theatre, the Juche Tower and the Ongrui Restaurant epitomise the Korean variant of Communist architecture. The Gates of Pyongyang and the Arch of Triumph (built in honour of Kim Il-Sung's 70th birthday) are particularly impressive. Many ancient buildings in Kaesong (six hours from the capital by train) bear witness to Korea's 500-year-old imperial history. The town is surrounded by beautiful pine-clad hills.
Kumgangsan is the country's largest national park, consisting of a range of mountains (known as 'the Diamond Mountains') along the east coast of the country.Note that only travel companies officially recognised by the North Korean Authorities are permitted to bring groups of tourists to Korea (Dem Rep). Independent tourism is not permitted, and foreigners must be accompanied by a guide at all times.
It is not possible to enter Korea (Dem Rep) from the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
The threat from terrorism in Korea (Dem Rep) is low, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Travellers should register with their embassy in Pyongyang on arrival.
Travel within Korea (Dem Rep) is severely restricted.
Due to Avian Influenza outbreaks in the region, you may be required by the DPRK authorities to provide recent travel itineraries as part of the visa application process. The DPRK authorities have said informally that visas may be denied to applicants who have recently visited areas affected by Avian Influenza but no further guidance has yet issued as to how this might be applied.
Visitors should ensure they are inoculated against measles, which has broken out in some parts of the DPRK.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: