|Geography and Climate
Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Eastern Asia, is located in northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea. Area comparatively slightly smaller than Mississippi. Total land boundary is 1,673 km, border countries are China 1,416 km, South Korea 238 km, Russia 19 km.
Climate in North Korea is temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer. Terrain consists mostly of hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys; coastal plains wide in west, discontinuous in east. Elevation extreme has the lowest point in Sea of Japan 0 m and highest point in Paektu-san 2,744 m. Natural resources are 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 are 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
Geography—note: strategic location bordering China, South Korea, and Russia; mountainous interior is isolated, nearly inaccessible, and sparsely populated.
Ref. Anonymous, 1999