Korea, Dem People's Rep

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea occupies the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea is bounded on the north by China, on the north-east by Russia, on the east by the Sea of Japan, on the south by South Korea and on the west by the Yellow Sea. It has an area of 120 538 km2.

Much of North Korea is mountainous with deep, narrow valleys. Korea´s highest mountain, Paektu-san (Paektu Mountain), 2 744 m, lies in the northern mountains. The country´s longest river, the Yalu, flows westward from these mountain along the border with China for 789 km. The Tumen River flows to the east and forms the border from Paektu-san to the Sea of Japan.

There are lowland plains, divided by low hills, along both coasts; wide in the west and narrow on the east coast. These plains are the major farming regions.

The climate of North Korea is greatly influenced by the prevailing winds. In general, it has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. In the summer, the prevailing winds are from the south and south-east, bringing hot, humid weather. A cold, dry wind blows from the north and north-west during the winter, bringing cold weather. The east coast is somewhat protected by the mountains and generally has warmer winters than does the rest of the country.

The average July temperature at P'yongyang is 24.4° C. Winter temperatures at Wonsan in the south-east average -3.9° C but temperatures are considerably lower in the north. Annual precipitation in most parts of the country is about 1 000 mm, mostly in the summer months.

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

last updated:  Monday, May 28, 2012