Travel Alert Status
Level 4: Do Not Travel
UTC+8.5 (13.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: on 15 August 2015, North Korea reverted to UTC+8.5, a time zone that had been observed during pre-colonial times
temperate with rainfall concentrated in summer
North Korean won (KPW)
Korean is spoken in both North and South Korea and is written in a phonetic alphabet created and promulgated in the mid-15th century. While the alphabet is called Hangul in South Korea, it is known as Chosongul in North Korea. Although the Korean language is derived with words adapted from Chinese, the North Koreans, unlike the South Koreans, do not use Chinese characters with Chosongul in their newspapers and publications. They prefer to use only Chosongul, which is sufficient for most needs.
There are difference in vocabulary between the North and the South, influenced somewhat by politics and also by the contact each country has had with other nations. Russian, Chinese, and English are taught as second languages in the schools.
racially homogeneous; there is a small Chinese community and a few ethnic Japanese
Founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)
40 00 N, 127 00 E
Eastern Asia, northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Korea Bay and the Sea of Japan, between China and South Korea