Pyongyang, P'yŏngyang or Pyeongyang (US: /ˌpjɒŋˈjæŋ/, UK: /ˌpjʌŋˈjɑːŋ/; Korean pronunciation: [pʰjʌŋ.jaŋ]), is the capital and largest city of North Korea. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River about 109 kilometres (68 mi) upstream from its mouth on the Yellow Sea. According to the 2008 population census, it has a population of 3,255,288. The city was split from the South Pyongan province in 1946. It is administered as a directly-administered city (직할시; 直轄市; chikhalsi) with equal status to provinces, the same as special cities in South Korea (특별시; 特別市; teukbyeolsi), including Seoul.
|Pyongyang Directly Governed City|
|• McCune–Reischauer||P'yŏngyang Chikhalsi|
|• Revised Romanization||Pyeongyang Jikhalsi|
|• Official North Korean variant||Phyŏngyang Chikhalsi|
Location of Pyongyang in North Korea
Location of Pyongyang in North Korea
|• Chairman of Pyongyang People's Committee||Cha Hui-rim|
|• Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea Pyongyang City Committee||Kim Su-gil|
|• Total||2,000 km2 (800 sq mi)|
|• Total||3,222,000 |
The city's other historic names include Kisong, Hwangsong, Rakrang, Sŏgyong, Sodo, Hogyong, Changan, and Heijō (during Japanese rule in Korea). There are several variants.[a] During the early 20th century, Pyongyang came to be known among missionaries as being the "Jerusalem of the East", due to its historical status as a stronghold of Christianity, namely Protestantism, especially during the Pyongyang revival of 1907.
After Kim Il-sung's death in 1994, some members of Kim Jong-il's faction proposed changing the name of Pyongyang to "Kim Il-sung City" (Hangul: 김일성시; Hanja: 金日成市), but others suggested that North Korea should begin calling Seoul "Kim Il-sung City" instead and grant Pyongyang the moniker "Kim Jong-il City", and in the end neither proposal was implemented.
The Russian transliteration Пхёнья́н was adapted in Polish and Romanian as Phenian. In Poland the hyperforeignist pronunciation /ˈfɛɲ.jan/ is commoner than the original /ˈpxɛɲ.jan/.
In 1955, archaeologists excavated evidence of prehistoric occupation in a large ancient village in the Pyongyang area, called Kŭmtan-ni, dating to the Jeulmun and Mumun pottery periods. North Koreans associate Pyongyang with the mythological city of "Asadal" (Hangul: 아사달; Hanja: 阿斯達), or Wanggeom-seong (Hangul: 왕검성; Hanja: 王儉城), the first second millennium BC capital of Gojoseon ("Old Joseon") according to Korean historiographies beginning with the 13th-century Samgungnyusa.
Historians deny this claim because earlier Chinese historiographical works such as the Guanzi, Classic of Mountains and Seas, Records of the Grand Historian, and Records of the Three Kingdoms, mention a much later "Joseon". The connection between the two therefore may have been asserted by North Korea for the use of propaganda. Nevertheless, Pyongyang became a major city in old Joseon.
Korean mythology asserts that Pyongyang was founded in 1122 BC on the site of the capital of the legendary king Dangun. Wanggeom-seong, which was in the location of Pyongyang, became the capital of Gojoseon from 194 to 108 BC. It fell in the Han conquest of Gojoseon in 108 BC. Emperor Wu of Han ordered four commanderies be set up, with Lelang Commandery in the center and its capital established as 樂浪 (Old Chinese: *[r]ˤawk*[r]ˤaŋ, Standard Chinese: pinyin: Lèlàng, Korean: RakRang). Several archaeological findings from the later, Eastern Han (20–220 AD) period in the Pyeongyang area seems to suggest that Han forces later launched brief incursions around these parts.
The area around the city was called Nanglang during the early Three Kingdoms period. As the capital of Nanglang (Hangul: 낙랑국; Hanja: 樂浪國),[b] Pyeongyang remained an important commercial and cultural outpost after the Lelang Commandery was destroyed by an expanding Goguryeo in 313.
In 668, Pyongyang became the capital of the Protectorate General to Pacify the East established by the Tang dynasty of China. However, by 676, it was taken by Silla, but left on the border between Silla and Balhae. Pyongyang was left abandoned during the Later Silla period, until it was recovered by Wang Geon and decreed as the Western Capital of Goryeo. During the Joseon period, it became the provincial capital of Pyeongan Province.
During the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98), Pyongyang was captured by the Japanese until they were defeated in the Siege of Pyongyang. Later in the 17th century, it became temporarily occupied during the Qing invasion of Joseon until peace arrangements were made between Korea and Qing China. While the invasions made Koreans suspicious of foreigners, the influence of Christianity began to grow after the country opened itself up to foreigners in the 16th century. Pyongyang became the base of Christian expansion in Korea, and by 1880 it had more than 100 churches and more Protestant missionaries than any other Asian city.
In 1890, the city had 40,000 inhabitants. It was the site of the Battle of Pyongyang during the First Sino-Japanese War, which led to the destruction and depopulation of much of the city. It was the provincial capital of South Pyeongan Province beginning in 1896. Under Japanese colonial rule, the city became an industrial center, called Heijō (with the same Chinese characters 平壤 but read as へいじょう) in Japanese.
In July 1931 the city experienced anti-Chinese riots as a result of the Wanpaoshan Incident and the sensationalized media reports about it which appeared in Imperial Japanese and Korean newspapers.
By 1938, Pyongyang had a population of 235,000.
On 25 August 1945, the Soviet 25th Army entered Pyongyang and it became the temporary capital of the Provisional People's Committee for North Korea. A People's Committee was already established there, led by veteran Christian nationalist Cho Man-sik. Pyongyang became the de facto capital of North Korea upon its establishment in 1948. At the time, the Pyongyang government aimed to recapture Korea's official capital, Seoul. Pyongyang was again severely damaged in the Korean War, during which it was briefly occupied by South Korean forces from 19 October to 6 December 1950. In 1952, it was the target of the largest aerial raid of the entire war, involving 1,400 UN aircraft.
After the war, the city was quickly rebuilt with assistance from the Soviet Union, and many buildings were built in the style of Stalinist architecture. The plans for the modern city of Pyongyang were first displayed for public viewing in a theatre building. On 27 July 1953 – the day the armistice between North Korea and South Korea was signed – The Pyongyang Review wrote: "While streets were in flames, an exhibition showing the general plan of restoration of Pyongyang was held at the Moranbong Underground Theater", the air raid shelter of the government under Moranbong. "On the way of victory... fireworks which streamed high into the night sky of the capital in a gun salute briefly illuminated the construction plan of the city which would rise soon with a new look".
In 2001, the authorities began a long-term modernisation programme. The Ministry of Capital City Construction Development was included in the Cabinet in that year. In 2006, Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-thaek took charge of the ministry.
Pyongyang is in the west-central part of North Korea; the city lies on a flat plain about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the Korea Bay, an arm of the Yellow Sea. The Taedong River flows southwestward through the city toward the Korea Bay. The Pyongyang plain, where the city is situated, is one of the two large plains on the Western coast of the Korean peninsula, the other being the Chaeryong plain. Both have an area of approximately 500 square kilometers.
Pyongyang has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa), featuring hot, humid summers and cold winters. Cold, dry winds can blow from Siberia in winter, making conditions very cold; the low temperature is usually below freezing between November and early March, although the average daytime high is at least a few degrees above freezing in every month except January. The winter is generally much drier than summer, with snow falling for 37 days on average.
The transition from the cold, dry winter to the warm, wet summer occurs rather quickly between April and early May, and there is a similarly abrupt return to winter conditions in late October and November. Summers are generally hot and humid, with the East Asian monsoon taking place from June until August; these are also the hottest months, with average temperatures of 21 to 25 °C (70 to 77 °F), and daytime highs often above 30 °C (86 °F).
Major government and other public offices are located in Pyongyang, which is constitutionally designated as the country's capital. The seat of the Workers' Party Central Committee and the Pyongyang People's Committee are located in Haebangsan-dong, Chung-guyok. The Cabinet of North Korea is located in Jongro-dong, Chung-guyok.
Pyongyang is also the seat of all major North Korean security institutions. The largest of them, the Ministry of People's Security, has 130,000 employees working in 12 bureaus. These oversee activities including: police services, security of party officials, classified documents, census, civil registrations, large-scale public construction, traffic control, fire safety, civil defense, public health and customs. Another significant structure based in the city is the State Security Department, whose 30,000 personnel manage intelligence, political prison systems, military industrial security and entry and exit management.
The politics and management of the city is dominated by the Workers' Party of Korea, as they are in the national level. The city is managed by the Pyongyang Party Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. The supreme standing state organ is the Pyongyang People's Committee, responsible for everyday events in support of the city. This includes following local Party guidance as channeled through the Pyongyang Party Committee, the distribution of resources prioritised to Pyongyang, and providing support to KWP and internal security agency personnel and families.
P'yŏngyang is divided into 19 wards (ku- or guyŏk) (the city proper) and 2 counties (kun or gun).
After being destroyed during the Korean War, Pyongyang was entirely rebuilt according to Kim Il-sung's vision, which was to create a capital that would boost morale in the post-war years. The result was a city with wide, tree-lined boulevards and public buildings with terraced landscaping, mosaics and decorated ceilings. Its Russian-style architecture makes it reminiscent of a Siberian city during winter snowfall, although edifices of traditional Korean design somewhat soften this perception. In summer, it is notable for its rivers, willow trees, flowers and parkland.
The streets are laid out in a north-south, east-west grid, giving the city an orderly appearance. North Korean designers applied the Swedish experience of self-sufficient urban neighbourhoods throughout the entire country, and Pyongyang is no exception. Its inhabitants are mostly divided into administrative units of 5,000 to 6,000 people (dong). These units all have similar sets of amenities including a food store, a barber shop, a tailor, a public bathhouse, a post office, a clinic, a library and others. Many residents occupy high-rise apartment buildings. One of Kim Il-sung's priorities while designing Pyongyang was to limit the population. Authorities maintain a restrictive regime of movement into the city, making it atypical of East Asia as it is silent, uncrowded and spacious.
Structures in Pyongyang are divided into three major architectural categories: monuments, buildings with traditional Korean motifs and high-rises. Some of North Korea's most recognisable landmarks are monuments, like the Juche Tower, the Arch of Triumph and the Mansu Hill Grand Monument. The first of them is a 170-meter granite spire symbolizing the Juche ideology. It was completed in 1982 and contains 25,550 granite blocks, one for each day of Kim Il-sung's life up to that point. The most prominent building on Pyongyang's skyline is Ryugyong Hotel, the seventh highest building in the world terms of floor count, the tallest unoccupied building in the world, and one of the tallest hotels in the world. It has yet to open.
Pyongyang has a rapidly evolving skyline, dominated by high-rise apartment buildings. A construction boom began with the Changjon Street Apartment Complex, which was completed in 2012. Construction of the complex began after late leader Kim Jong-il described Changjon Street as "pitiful". Other housing complexes are being upgraded as well, but most are still poorly insulated, and lacking elevators and central heating. An urban renewal program continued under Kim Jong-un's leadership, with the old apartments of the 1970s and '80s replaced by taller high rise buildings and leisure parks like the Kaesong Youth Park, as well as renovations of older buildings. In 2018, the city was described as unrecognizable compared to five years before.
Notable landmarks in the city include:
Pyongyang TV Tower is a minor landmark. Other visitor attractions include the Korea Central Zoo. The Arch of Reunification has a map of a united Korea supported by two concrete Korean women dressed in traditional dress straddling the Reunification Highway, which stretches from Pyongyang to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Pyongyang served as the provincial capital of South Pyongan Province until 1946, and Pyongyang cuisine shares the general culinary tradition of the Pyongan province. The most famous local food is Pyongyang naengmyeon, or also called mul naengmyeon or just simply naengmyeon. Naengmyeon literally means "cold noodles", while the affix mul refers to water because the dish is served in a cold broth. Naengmyeon consists of thin and chewy buckwheat noodles in a cold meat-broth with dongchimi (watery kimchi) and topped with a slice of sweet Korean pear.
Pyongyang naengmyeon was originally eaten in homes built with ondol (traditional underfloor heating) during the cold winter, so it is also called "Pyongyang deoldeori" (shivering in Pyongyang). Pyongyang locals sometimes enjoyed it as a haejangguk, which is any type of food eaten as a hangover-cure, usually a warm soup.
Another representative Pyongyang dish, Taedonggang sungeoguk, translates as "trout soup from the Taedong River". The soup features trout (abundant in the Taedong River) along with black peppercorns and salt. Traditionally, it has been served to guests visiting Pyongyang. Therefore, there is a common saying, "How good was the trout soup?", which is used to greet people returning from Pyongyang. Another local specialty, Pyongyang onban (literally "warm rice of Pyongyang") comprises freshly cooked rice topped with sliced mushrooms, chicken, and a couple of bindaetteok (pancakes made from ground mung beans and vegetables).
In 2018, there were many high quality restaurants in Pyongyang with Korean and international food, and imported alcoholic beverages. Famous restaurants include Okryu-gwan and Ch'ongryugwan. Some street foods exist in Pyongyang, where vendors operate food stalls. Foreign foods like hamburgers, fries, pizza, and coffee are easily found. There is an active nightlife with late-night restaurants and karaoke.
Pyongyang is North Korea's industrial center. Thanks to the abundance of natural resources like coal, iron and limestone, as well as good land and water transport systems, it was the first industrial city to emerge in North Korea after the Korean War. Light and heavy industries are both present and have developed in parallel. Heavy manufactures include cement, industrial ceramics, munitions and weapons, but mechanical engineering remains the core industry. Light industries in Pyongyang and its vicinity include textiles, footwear and food, among others. Special emphasis is put on the production and supply of fresh produce and subsidiary crops in farms on the city's outskirts. Other crops include rice, corn and soybeans. Pyongyang aims to achieve self-sufficiency in meat production. High-density facilities raise pigs, chicken and other livestock.
The city still experiences frequent shortages of electricity. To solve this problem, two power stations - Huichon Power Stations 1 and 2 - were built in Chagang Province and supply the city through direct transmission lines. A second phase of the power expansion project was launched in January 2013, consisting of a series of small dams along the Chongchon River. The first two power stations have a maximum generating capacity of 300 megawatts (MW), while the 10 dams to be built under second phase are expected to generate about 120 MW. In addition, the city has several existing or planned thermal power stations. These include Pyongyang TPS with a capacity of 500 MW, East Pyongyang TPS with a capacity of 50 MW, and Kangdong TPS which is under construction.
Pyongyang is home to several large department stores including the Pothonggang Department Store, Pyongyang Department Store No. 1, Pyongyang Department Store No. 2, Kwangbok Department Store, Ragwon Department Store, Pyongyang Station Department Store, and the Pyongyang Children’s Department Store.
The city also has Hwanggumbol Shop, a chain of state-owned convenience stores supplying goods at prices cheaper than those in jangmadang markets. Hwanggumbol Shops are specifically designed to control North Korea's expanding markets by attracting consumers and guaranteeing the circulation of money in government-operated stores.
Pyongyang is also the main transport hub of the country: it has a network of roads, railways and air routes which link it to both foreign and domestic destinations. It is the starting point of inter-regional highways reaching Nampo, Wonsan and Kaesong. Pyongyang railway station serves the main railway lines, including the Pyongui Line and the Pyongbu Line. Regular international rail services to Beijing, Chinese border city of Dandong and Moscow are also available.
A rail journey to Beijing takes about 25 hours and 25 minutes (K27 from Beijing/K28 from Pyongyang, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays); a journey to Dandong takes about 6 hours (daily); a journey to Moscow takes six days. The city also connects to the Eurasian Land Bridge via the Trans-Siberian Railway. A high-speed rail link to Wonsan is planned.
The Metro, tram and trolleybus systems are used mainly by commuters as a primary means of urban transportation. Cycle lanes were introduced on main thoroughfares in July 2015. There are relatively few cars in the city. Cars are a symbol of status in the country due to their scarcity as a result of restrictions on import because of international sanctions and domestic regulations. Some roads are also reported to be in poor condition. However, by 2018, Pyongyang had begun to experience traffic jams.
State-owned Air Koryo has scheduled international flights from Pyongyang Sunan International Airport to Beijing (PEK), Shenyang (SHE), Vladivostok (VVO), Shanghai (PVG) and Dandong. The only domestic destinations are Hamhung, Wonsan, Chongjin, Hyesan and Samjiyon. Since 31 March 2008, Air China launched a regular service between Beijing and Pyongyang, although Air China's flights are often canceled due to the lack of passengers.
Kim Il-sung University, North Korea's oldest university, was established in 1946. It has seven colleges, 14 faculties and 16 other institutes, graduate schools and university units. These include the primary medical education and health personnel training unit, the medical college; a physics faculty which covers a range of studies including theoretical physics, optical science, geophysics and astrophysics; an atomic energy institute and a human evolution research office which studies human evolution through a Juche point of view. Kim Il-sung University also has its own publishing house, sports club (Ryongnamsan Sports Club), revolutionary museum, nature museum, libraries, a gym, indoor swimming pool and educator apartment houses. Its two main buildings were completed in 1965 (Building 1) and 1972 (Building 2). A third building on campus is planned.
Other higher education establishments include Kim Chaek University of Technology, Pyongyang University of Music and Dance and Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is the country's first private university where most of the lecturers are American and courses are carried out in English. A science and technology hall is under construction on Ssuk Islet. Its stated purpose is to contribute to the "informatization of educational resources" by centralizing teaching materials, compulsory literature and experimental data for state-level use in a digital format.
Sosong-guyok hosts a 20 MeV cyclotron called MGC-20. The initial project was approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1983 and funded by the IAEA, the United States and the North Korean government. The cyclotron was ordered from the Soviet Union in 1985 and constructed between 1987 and 1990. It is used for student training, production of medical isotopes for nuclear medicine as well as studies in biology, chemistry and physics.
Medical centers include the Red Cross Hospital, the First People's Hospital which is located near Moran Hill and was the first hospital to be built in North Korea after the liberation of Korea in 1945, the Second People's Hospital, Ponghwa Recuperative Center (also known as Bonghwa Clinic or Presidential Clinic) located in Sokam-dong, Potonggang-guyok, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) northwest of Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang Medical School Hospital, Namsan Treatment Center which is adjacent Pyongyang's Maternity Hospital, Taesongsan General Hospital, Kim Man-yoo Hospital, Staff Treatment Center and Okryu Children's Hospital.
Pyongyang is twinned with:
By the early 1940s Pyongyang was by far the most Protestant of all major cities of Korea, with some 25–30% of its adult population being church-going Christians. In missionary circles this earned the city the nickname "Jerusalem of the East".
It's hard to say how many covert Christians the North has; estimates range from the low tens of thousands to 100,000. Christianity came to the peninsula in the late 19th century. Pyongyang, in fact, was once known as the 'Jerusalem of the East.'
The 1979 World Table Tennis Championships were held in Pyongyang from April 25 to May 6, 1979.2018 Winter Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (Korean: 제23회 동계 올림픽, translit. Jeisipsamhoe Donggye Ollimpik) and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, was an international winter multi-sport event that was held between 9 and 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, with the opening rounds for certain events held on 8 February 2018, the eve of the opening ceremony.
Pyeongchang was elected as the host city in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. This was the first time that South Korea had hosted the Winter Olympics and the second Olympics held in the country overall, after the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. It was the third time that an East Asian country had hosted the Winter Games, after Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998), both in Japan. It was also the first of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, the other two being the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The Games featured 102 events over fifteen disciplines in seven sports, with the addition of "big air" snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. 2,914 athletes from 92 NOCs competed, including the debuts of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore. After a state-sponsored doping program was exposed following the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended, and selected athletes were allowed to compete neutrally under the IOC designation of "Olympic Athletes from Russia". Despite tense relations, North Korea agreed to participate in the Games, enter with South Korea during the opening ceremony as a unified Korea, and field a unified team in women's ice hockey.
Norway led the total medal tally with 39, followed by Germany's 31 and Canada's 29. Germany and Norway were tied for the most gold medals won; both won fourteen golds. Host nation South Korea won seventeen medals, their highest medal haul at a Winter Olympics, five of which were gold.Air Koryo
Air Koryo (Chosŏn'gŭl: 고려항공; MR: Koryŏ Hanggong; formerly 조선민항; 朝鮮民航; Chosŏn Minhang) is the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea, headquartered in Sunan-guyŏk, Pyongyang. Based at Pyongyang International Airport (IATA: FNJ), it operates international scheduled and charter services to points in Asia.Arirang Festival
The Grand Mass Gymnastics and Artistic Performance Arirang (Chosŏn'gŭl: 아리랑 축제), also known as the Arirang Mass Games, or the Arirang Festival was a mass gymnastics and artistic festival held in the Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. The games usually took place in August or September. The games were held annually between 2002 and 2013, with the exception of 2006. After a five-year hiatus, mass games returned under the rubric The Glorious Country in 2018.
According to the Russian News Agency "TASS", "Arirang is a gymnastics and artistic festival, known as mass games. The extravaganza unfolds an epic story of how the Arirang nation of Korea, a country of morning calm, in the Orient put an end to the history of distress and rose as a dignified nation with the song 'Arirang'. The Arirang performance has been included in the Guinness Book of Records."Battle of Pyongyang (1950)
The Battle of Pyongyang (17–19 October 1950) was one of the major battles of the United Nations' offensive during the Korean War. Following the Battle of Inchon, the UN forces re-captured Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and proceeded to advance north of the 38th parallel. Shortly after advancing, the American and South Korean forces faced the North Korean defenses near Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, on 17 October.
North Korea's leadership and its main forces had already withdrawn to Kanggye, allowing the allied forces to capture Pyongyang on 19 October. The battle was followed by an airborne assault by the U.S. 187th Infantry Regiment 25 miles (40 km) north of Pyongyang, with the intention of cutting off North Korean units retreating from the city.After the Chinese Intervention the city came back into North Korean control by 5 December.Collision in Korea
Collision in Korea, officially known as the Pyongyang International Sports and Culture Festival for Peace (平和のための平壌国際体育・文化祝典, Heiwa no tame no Pyon'yan kokusai taiiku bunka shukuten), was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event jointly produced by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). It took place over a period of two days on April 28 and 29, 1995 at May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. It aired in North America on August 4, 1995, when WCW broadcast a selection of matches from the show on pay-per-view.
The event was the first PPV from a North American wrestling promotion to be held in North Korea, and holds the current record for the largest combined attendance for a wrestling event, with a claimed crowd of 165,000 and 190,000 for the first and second day respectively. American wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reported different attendance numbers of 150,000 and 165,000 respectively.NJPW's Hidekazu Tanaka was the ring announcer for the show, while Masao Tayama and Tiger Hattori refereed the matches. Commentary for the WCW pay-per-view presentation of the event was provided by Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay and Kazuo Ishikawa.
It is one of the few WCW pay-per-view events not made available for streaming on the WWE Network service.Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung (officially transcribed Kim Il Sung; English pronunciation: ; Chosŏn'gŭl: 김일성; Korean pronunciation: [kimils͈ʌŋ]; born Kim Sŏng-ju (김성주); 15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the first leader of North Korea which he ruled from the country's establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Premier from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) from 1949 to 1994 (titled as Chairman from 1949 to 1966 and as General Secretary after 1966). Coming to power after the end of Japanese rule in 1945, he authorized the invasion of South Korea in 1950, triggering an intervention in defense of South Korea by the United Nations led by the United States. Following the military stalemate in the Korean War, a ceasefire was signed on 27 July 1953. He was the second longest-serving non-royal head of state/government in the 20th century, in office for more than 48 years.
Under his leadership, North Korea became a communist state with a publicly owned and planned economy. It had close political and economic relations with the Soviet Union. By the 1960s, North Korea enjoyed a standard of living higher than the South, which was fraught with political instability and economic crises. The situation reversed in the mid-1970s, as a newly stable South Korea became an economic powerhouse fueled by Japanese and American investment, military aid and internal economic development while North Korea stagnated. Differences emerged between North Korea and the Soviet Union, central among them Kim Il-sung's philosophy of Juche, which focused on Korean nationalism and self-reliance. Despite this, the country received funds, subsidies and aid from the USSR (and the Eastern Bloc) until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The resulting loss of economic aid adversely affected the North's economy, causing widespread famine in 1994. During this period, North Korea also remained critical of the United States defense force's presence in the region, which it considered imperialism, having seized the American ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) in 1968. He outlived Joseph Stalin by four decades and Mao Zedong by almost two and remained in power during the terms of office of six South Korean Presidents, ten U.S. Presidents and the rule of British monarchs George VI and later his daughter Elizabeth II. Known as the Great Leader (Suryong), he was the focus of a personality cult which dominated domestic politics in North Korea.
At the 6th WPK Congress in 1980, his oldest son Kim Jong-il was elected as a Presidium member and chosen as his heir apparent to the supreme leadership. Kim Il-sung's birthday is a public holiday in North Korea called the "Day of the Sun". In 1998, Kim Il-sung was declared "eternal President of the Republic". During his rule, North Korea was widely characterized as a totalitarian state with widespread human rights abuses, including mass executions and prison camps.Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un (officially transcribed Kim Jong Un; Chosŏn'gŭl: 김정은; Korean pronunciation: [kim.dzɔŋ.ɯn]; born 8 January 1983) is a North Korean politician serving as Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011 and also serving as the Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2012. Kim is the second child of Kim Jong-il (1941–2011) and Ko Yong-hui (1952–2004). He is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, who was the first leader of North Korea from 1948 to 1994. Kim is the first North Korean leader who was born after the country's founding.From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as heir apparent to the leadership of the DPRK, and following the elder Kim's death, North Korean state television announced him as the "Great Successor". Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (as First Secretary between 2012 and 2016), Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body in North Korea. Kim was promoted to the rank of Marshal of North Korea in the Korean People's Army on 18 July 2012, consolidating his position as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and is often referred to as Marshal Kim Jong-un, "the Marshal" or "Dear Respected" by state media.Kim obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University, and another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University.Forbes magazine ranked Kim the 46th most powerful person in the world in 2013 and the third highest amongst Koreans after Ban Ki-moon and Lee Kun-hee. On 12 December 2013, North Korean news outlets reported that Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek due to "treachery". On 9 March 2014, Kim was unopposed when he was elected to the Supreme People's Assembly. He is widely believed to have ordered the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia in February 2017.Despite tense relations, North Korea agreed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Following the Olympics, Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in conducted the April 2018 inter-Korean summit, which marked the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean leader entered the South's territory. On 12 June 2018, Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met for a summit in Singapore, the first-ever talks held between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President, to discuss the North Korean nuclear program.Kim Yong-nam
Kim Yong-nam (Chosŏn'gŭl: 김영남; born February 4, 1928) is the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, a position he has held since 1998. Previously, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1983 to 1998. He was elected a member of the Presidium of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in 2010.List of North Korean records in athletics
The following are the national records in athletics in North Korea maintained by Amateur Athletic Association of DPR of Korea.List of tallest buildings in North Korea
This article talks about list of tallest buildings in North Korea.
The tallest buildings are only found in Pyongyang; most of them are hotels or condominiums.Naengmyeon
Naengmyeon (냉면; 冷麵, in S. Korea) or raengmyŏn (랭면, in N. Korea) is a Korean noodle dish of long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients, including buckwheat (메밀, memil), potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch (darker color and chewier than buckwheat noodles), and kudzu (칡, chik). Buckwheat predominates (despite the name, it is not a wheat but rather is more closely related to sorrel). Other varieties of naengmyeon are made from ingredients such as seaweed and green tea.North Korea
North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea) (Korean: 조선민주주의인민공화국, Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in Chinese) and Tumen rivers; it is bordered to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. Nevertheless, North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands.In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed.North Korea officially describes itself as a "self-reliant" socialist state, and formally holds elections, though said elections have been described by outside observers as sham elections. Various media outlets have called it Stalinist, particularly noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family. The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution in 1972. The means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education, housing and food production are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, and the population continues to suffer malnutrition. North Korea follows Songun, or "military-first" policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve and paramilitary personnel, or approximately 37% of its population. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the United States and India; consisting of 4.8% of its population. It possesses nuclear weapons.The UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that, "The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world". The North Korean regime strongly denies most allegations, accusing international organizations of fabricating human rights abuses as part of a smear campaign with the covert intention of undermining the state, although they admit that there are human rights issues relating to living conditions which the regime is attempting to correct.In addition to being a member of the United Nations since 1991, the sovereign state is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, G77 and the ASEAN Regional Forum.North Korean cuisine
North Korea is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is bordered to the south by South Korea, and the two countries are separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Some dishes are shared by the two Koreas.
Historically, Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in southern Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula, it has gone through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends. Rice dishes and kimchi are staple Korean foods. In a traditional meal, they accompany both side dishes (panch'an) and main courses like juk, pulgogi or noodles. Soju liquor is the best-known traditional Korean spirit.Pyongyang City Sports Club
Pyongyang City Sports Club (Korean: 평양시체육단) is a North Korean organization of physical education specialty with several departments. This organization is based in Pyongyang and plays at the Kim Il-sung Stadium. As the sports club of the Korean Workers Party and Pyongyang City Hall, it is the largest sports club not affiliated with a state ministry.
Football is the most popular department in this organization. The men are presently playing in the DPRK Korea Premier Football League, the highest football league in North Korea. The club's nickname is Chollima. Although in the rest of the world Chollima is used to refer to the North Korean national team, references to Chollima or "the Chollima football team" in North Korean sports reporting usually refers to Pyongyang City's football team.Pyongyang International Airport
Pyongyang International Airport (IATA: FNJ, ICAO: ZKPY), also known as the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, is the main airport serving Pyongyang, capital of North Korea. It is located in the city's Sunan District. As of August 2018, Air China and Air Koryo are servicing Pyongyang International Airport and the two destination countries from Pyongyang International Airport are China and Russia.Pyongyang Metro
The Pyongyang Metro (Chosŏn'gŭl: 평양 지하철도; MR: P'yŏngyang Chihach'ŏlto) is the metro system in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. It consists of two lines: the Chollima Line, which runs north from Puhŭng Station on the banks of the Taedong River to Pulgŭnbyŏl Station, and the Hyŏksin Line, which runs from Kwangbok Station in the southwest to Ragwŏn Station in the northeast. The two lines intersect at Chŏnu Station.
Daily ridership is estimated to be between 300,000 and 700,000. Structural engineering of the Metro was completed by North Korea, with rolling stock and related electronic equipment imported from China. This was later replaced with rolling stock acquired from East Germany.The Pyongyang Metro has a museum devoted to its construction and history.Pyongyang Station
Pyongyang Station (Korean: 평양역) is the central railway station of P'yŏngyang, North Korea. It is located in Yŏkchŏn-dong, Chung-guyŏk.Ryugyong Hotel
The Ryugyong Hotel (Chosŏn'gŭl: 류경려관; sometimes spelled as Ryu-Gyong Hotel), or Yu-Kyung Hotel, is an unfinished 105-story, 330-metre-tall (1,080 ft) pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its name ("capital of willows") is also one of the historical names for Pyongyang. The building is also known as the 105 Building, a reference to its number of floors. The building has been planned as a mixed-use development, which would include a hotel. The building is currently listed by Guinness World Records as being the tallest unoccupied building in the world.Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. After 1992 the building stood topped out, but without any windows or interior fittings. In 2008 construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 2011. It was planned to open the hotel in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung's birth.
A partial opening was announced for 2013, but this was cancelled. In 2018, a LED display was fitted to one side, which was used to show animation and movie scenes. The building remains unopened.
|Climate data for Pyongyang (1971–2000, extremes 1907–2016)|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−28.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||12.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||5.2||4.2||5.1||6.7||8.1||8.7||14.4||11.0||7.2||6.1||7.3||5.9||89.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||74||71||66||63||66||70||80||78||74||72||72||73||72|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||184||197||231||237||263||229||181||204||222||214||165||165||2,492|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, humidity 1908–1936, and sun 1961–1990)[c]|
|Special administrative regions|
|Directly governed city|
|Cities with special status|
Capitals of Asia
|2,000,000 and more|