Kim Jong Il
National Defense Commission Chairman
(pronounced "kim zhong EEL")
"Ideology, technology, and culture—all according to the demands of juche [self-reliance]."
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is located on the northern half of the Korean peninsula. It is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and South Korea to the southeast. The 38th Parallel has divided North and South Korea since the end of the Korean War (1953).
The total area is 120,540 sq km (46,540 sq mi), and the population was estimated at 22.2 million in 2002. The population is ethnically homogeneous, and the official language is Korean. The state is officially atheist. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang (2.7 million), with Chongjin and Kaesong being the other major cities.
The Soviet style command economy is at least 90% state controlled, with agriculture totally collectivized. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $1,000 in 2001. The currency unit is the North Korean won. The currency is not convertible and most trade is conducted by barter. Minerals, coal, rice, marine products, silk, and cement are North Korea's major exports.
Office of the General Secretary
Democratic People's Republic of Korea