North Korea Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit North Korea in 2024
Welcome to North Korea

North Korea

North Korea is located in the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. In the north, it borders China; in the northeast, it borders Russia; in the south, it borders South Korea.

Capital city

Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, is thought to have a population of 2.86 million. It is the political, cultural, and economic center of the country. Pyongyang showcases the country’s grandeur and serves as a symbol of its regime. The city features wide boulevards, monumental architecture, and meticulously planned public spaces. Prominent landmarks include the Juche Tower, the Mansudae Grand Monument, and the Ryugyong Hotel.

Currency

The currency of North Korea is the North Korean won (KPW). However, the North Korean won is not a freely convertible currency, and market forces do not determine its exchange rate.

Population

North Korea’s population is around 25 million people. The majority of the population is of Korean ethnicity. The ethnic Koreans, known as the Korean people or Joseonjok, comprise most of the population. However, there are also small minority groups in North Korea, including Chinese and Japanese residents and expatriates from other countries who may be working or studying there. These minority groups contribute to the cultural diversity within the population.

Geography

North Korea boasts diverse geography. It encompasses stunning landscapes such as majestic mountains, deep valleys, and picturesque coastal plains. One prominent geographical feature is Mount Paektu, the country’s highest peak and an active volcano. Mount Paektu holds great cultural significance for Koreans, as it is considered the spiritual birthplace of their nation. The mountain is shrouded in folklore and legends, and its scenic beauty attracts visitors. The varied topography of North Korea offers a range of natural beauty, making it a country with notable geographical diversity.

Climate

North Korea experiences a predominantly continental climate with distinct seasonal variations. Typically, summers are hot and muggy with high temperatures. Winters are cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, especially in the northern regions. Spring and autumn offer milder and more pleasant weather. The country receives moderate rainfall, with the wettest months typically occurring during the summer. North Korea’s climate is influenced by its geographical location and the East Asian monsoon system, which brings precipitation and temperature changes throughout the year.

Language

The official language of North Korea is Korean. The Korean language in North Korea is the “Pyongyang dialect” or “North Korean dialect.”

Religion

North Korea is officially atheist, and the government promotes a policy of state atheism. While the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, religious activities are heavily restricted, and public religious observance is uncommon.

Culture

North Korean culture is deeply influenced by the ideology of Juche, which emphasizes self-reliance and the state’s supremacy. The country has unique art forms, music, literature, and film industries. Korean cuisine, including kimchi and bibimbap, is integral to the culture. Traditional Korean customs and practices, such as ancestral reverence and Confucian values, still exist.

Economy

North Korea has a centrally planned economy with significant state control and limited market reforms. As a result, the country faces economic challenges, including international sanctions, little foreign trade, and resource constraints. Key industries include mining, metallurgy, machinery, chemicals, and agriculture. The government has implemented some economic zones and reforms to attract foreign investment.

Tourism

North Korea offers limited tourism opportunities, aiming to highlight its monuments, historical sites, and notable achievements. The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum housing the preserved bodies of former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, is a major attraction. In addition, the Arch of Triumph, symbolizing national pride, commemorates the country’s resistance against Japan. Visitors can also explore the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a highly secured border between North and South Korea. While tourism is tightly controlled, these sites provide glimpses into North Korea’s history, ideology, and political narrative.

Government

North Korea is a self-described socialist state with a unique political system. It follows the ideology of Juche, developed by the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung. The government operates under a system of centralized leadership, with the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) as the ruling political party. The Supreme Leader holds significant power and influence over the government and military.

Recent History

North Korea has recently been the subject of international attention due to its nuclear weapons program and strained relations with other countries. As a result, there have been intermittent diplomatic engagements, negotiations, and tensions surrounding the country’s nuclear ambitions. In addition, North Korea has seen substantial economic effects rising from sanctions imposed by the United Nations and other countries.

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They must join either a group tour or a private tour. In addition, all travelers to North Korea must be on an approved, guided tour organized by an authorized tour operator.

 

The North Korean Embassy in New Delhi has the right to turn down or approve any application for a visa. So, it would help if you accept their decision, and no appeal will be entertained or refund given.

Indians are strongly advised to purchase Travel Insurance to secure their trip during unexpected events such as medical emergencies, flight cancellations, baggage delay or loss, etc.

The North Korean visa will be granted on a specific piece of paper and on the day of departure.

Most tours depart from China, most commonly Beijing, but often Dandong, Shanghai, and Shenyang. Departures from Vladivostok, Russia, are also possible.

Process of getting a North Korean visa

Contact our Visa Expert with your travel plans and gather all the visa information and requirements per the directives.

Pay your North Korea visa fee online and get your documents picked up by us from your home or office.

As a norm of the visa procedure, our visa specialists will check, finish your online visa application, and set up an appointment.

On the appointment day, personally visit the High Commission / Visa Application Center (VAC) to submit your Biometrics (fingerprints) and documents.

Wait to receive your North Korea Visa.

Document checklist for North Korea

  • Valid North Korea Visa depending on your visit’s purpose and stay duration.
  • Passport with a 6-month validity period.
  • Travel itinerary.
  • Details of accommodation.
  • Foreign currency.
  • Confirmed return or onward tickets.
  • Any extra paperwork to substantiate your visit’s purpose, particularly for those on business visas.