North Korea, also known as "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is a country of East Asia occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. With all of the attention focused on the political turmoil that divides the two halves, other information about the country is often forgotten.
The central city of Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea and home to more than 3 million of the 22 million inhabitants. Other major cities include Hamhung and Nampo. North Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, and shares a small border with Russia to the northeast. The eastern and western edges of the country are coastlines of the East China Sea. Along the southern border lies 2.5-mile demilitarized zone, a reminder of the stark differences between the two halves. Steep Mountains and narrow valleys cover about 80% of the country's 120,000 square miles. The unusual climate brings both frequent droughts and massive summer flooding. Popular exports include minerals, wood products, clothing, vegetables and metals, making up the majority of North Korea's estimated $26 billion gross domestic product. Major imports include petroleum, minerals, food, machinery, chemicals and plastics. In the late-90s, a widespread famine struck the country hard, killing nearly 750,000 citizens. As of today, the country still relies heavily on food-aid from allies. North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons since 2006 continues to create tension around the world. North Korea has remained under communist rule since the conclusion of World War II. Leadership was recently appointed to Kim Jong-un, who takes over the duty as a result of the death of his father.
North Korea has still not recovered from the aftermath of World War II and the inability to make peace with its southern neighbor. With an overwhelming amount of publicity focused on its problems, many simple facts about the country are often lost or forgotten.