North Korea Military, Economy and Transportation

North Korea Military, Economy and Transportation


Economy overview: The North Korean economy is one of the most centralized and closed in the world. Production assets are almost beyond repair as a result of years of lack of investment and lack of spare parts. The country is in its seventh year of food insecurity due to lack of water, including a severe drought in 2000, and chronic fertilizer and fuel shortages. Major international humanitarian aid has helped the regime avoid serious consequences of a deep economic crisis, such as mass starvation, but the population is not eating enough and living conditions are deteriorating. Large military spending eats up the resources needed for capital investment and the production of consumer goods. In 2000, the regime is betting on expanding foreign trade relations, introducing modern technologies, attracting foreign investment,
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $22 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: -3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 30%; industry: 42%; services: 28% (1999 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: no data.
Labor force: 9.6 million people
Employment structure: agricultural sector 36%, non-agricultural sector 64%.
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: income: no data; expenses: n/a, including capital investment – n/a.
Spheres of economy: military industry; mechanical engineering, power generation, chemicals; mining industry (coal, iron ore, magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, lead, precious metals), metallurgy; fabric production, food industry; tourism.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 28.6 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 34.62%; hydropower: 65.38%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 26.598 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans, beans; cattle, pigs, pork, eggs.
Exports: $520 million (free on board, 1999 est.)
Export items: mineral raw materials, metallurgy products, manufactured goods (including weapons); agricultural products and fish products.
Export partners: Japan 28%, South Korea 21%, China 5%, Germany 4%, Russia 1% (1995).
Imports: $960 million (S.I.F., 1999 est.)
Import articles: oil, coking coal, machinery and equipment; consumer goods, grain.
Import partners: China 33%, Japan 17%, Russia 5%, South Korea 4%, Germany 3% (1995).
External debt: $12 billion (1996 est.) Recipient of economic assistance: no data; note – the amount of humanitarian aid from the US, South Korea, Japan and EU countries in 1997 was estimated at $200-300 million, in addition, significant assistance was received from the UN and non-governmental organizations; in 1998-2000 aid continued.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: DPRK Won.
Currency code: KPW.
Exchange rate: official: KPW/USD -2.15 (May 1994), 2.13 (May 1992), 2.14 (September 1991), 2.1 (January 1990), 2.3 (December 1989); market: KPW/USD – 200.
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 1.1 million (1995).
Mobile cellular phones: no data available.
Telephone system: local: no data; international: ground satellite stations – 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Russian station (Indian Ocean region); the other international connection is via Moscow and Beijing.
Broadcast stations: AM – 16, FM – 14, shortwave – 12 (1999).
Radio receivers: 3.36 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 38 (1999).
Televisions: 1.2 million (1997)
Internet country code: kp
Internet service providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: no data.


Transport Railways: total: 5,000 km; standard gauge: 4,095 km (1.435 m gauge) (3,500 km electrified; 159 km double track); narrow gauge: 665 km (gauge 0.762); dual gauge: 240 km (1.435 m and 1.600 m gauge, four-rail track) (1996 est.).
Roads: total: 31,200 km; coated: 1,997 km; unpaved: 29,203 km (1996 est.)
Waterways: 2,253 km; mostly suitable only for small boats.
Pipelines: for crude oil – 37 km; for oil products – 180 km.
Ports and harbors: Wonsan, Kim-chaek, Goson, Na-jin, Nampo, Sinuiju, Sonbong (formerly Ungi), Songnim, Unsan, Heungnam (Hamheung), Haeju.Chong-jin.
Merchant navy: in total: 110 vessels (of 1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 661,792 gross register tons / 903,347 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: dry cargo ships – 4, cargo ships – 94, combined dry cargo ships – 1, multifunctional heavy cargo ships – 1, passenger ships – 2, cargo-passenger ships – 1, oil tankers – 4, refrigerated ships – 1, coastal passenger ships – 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 87 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 39; over 3,047 m: 3; from 2438 to 3047 m: 26; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8; from 914 to 1,523 m: 1; less than 914 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 48; from 2438 to 3047 m:3; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 24; from 914 to 1523 m: 13; less than 914 m: 8 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the armed forces: Korean People’s Army (includes ground forces, navy, air force), civil security forces. See to know more about North Korea Military.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 5,943,735 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 3,574,050 (2001 est.). Number of persons reaching military age each year: men: 179,136 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $3.7 billion to $4.9 billion (1998 est.).
Military spending as part of GDP: 25 to 33% (1998 est.).

International Issues

International problems International disputes: 33-kilometer section of the border with China in the area of ​​Mount Pektusan has not been determined; demarcation line with South Korea.

North Korea Military