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Korea, North Geography

    Location: Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea

    Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 127 00 E

    Map references: Asia

    total: 120,540 sq km
    land: 120,410 sq km
    water: 130 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Mississippi

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,673 km
    border countries: 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
    note: 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

    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

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Sea of Japan 0 m
    highest point: Paektu-san 2,744 m

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

    Land use:
    arable land: 14%
    permanent crops: 2%
    permanent pastures: 0%
    forests and woodland: 61%
    other: 23% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 14,600 sq km (1993 est.)

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

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

    Environment—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

    Geography—note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated, nearly inaccessible, and sparsely populated

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)