North Korea, a country of eastern Asia. It occupies the northern part of the Korean peninsula, between the Sea of Japan on the east and the Yellow Sea on the west. North Korea borders China and a tip of Russia to the north, and South Korea to the south.

In 1945 Korea, which occupied the whole peninsula, was divided into two countries—the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). North Korea, which has always had a Communist government, invaded South Korea in 1950. The invasion started the Korean War. In 1953, at the close of the war, the two Koreas became separated by an armistice line, around which a demilitarized zone, about 2½ miles (4 km) in width, was established.

Facts in brief about North Korea
Capital: Pyongyang.
Official language: Korean.
Official name: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk (Democratic People's Republic of Korea).
Area: 46,540 mi2 (120,538 km2), including islands and excluding the 487-mi2 (1,262-km2) demilitarized zone. Greatest distances—north-south, 370 mi (595 km); east-west, 320 mi (515 km). Coastline—665 mi (1,070 km).
Elevation: Highest—Paektu-san (Paektu Mountain), 9,003 ft (2,744 m) above sea level. Lowest—sea level.
Population: Current estimate—23,059,000; density, 495 per mi2 (191 per km2); distribution, 62 percent urban, 38 percent rural.
Chief products: Agriculture—barley, corn, millet, potatoes, rice, wheat. Manufacturing—cement, chemicals, iron and steel, machinery, metals, processed foods, textiles. Mining—coal, iron ore, magnesium, phosphates, salt, tungsten. Fishing—pollock, sardines, shellfish, squid.
Flag and coat of arms: North Korea's flag has a horizontal red stripe between two thin white stripes on a blue background. The flag and coat of arms of North Korea have a red star that represents Communism. Rice and an electric power plant on the coat of arms stand for the importance of agriculture and industry to the North.
Money: Basic unit—North Korean won. One hundred chon equal one won.

Facts in brief about North Korea