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North Korea occupies some 120,540 square kilometres of land - an area roughly five times the size of Wales - on the northern part of the Korean peninsula.

Capital city Pyongyang is by far the largest population centre. The total population is about 23 million with most major towns and cities located in coastal lowland regions.

Much of the country is arid and mountainous, with only 16% suitable for agriculture. The highest point is Mount Paektu - the official birthplace of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Heavy industry exists across the country, but most plants are rundown and inefficient after years of underinvestment.

Manufacturing output is geared to the demands of the massive armed forces. Few factories produce consumer goods and those North Koreans who can afford them rely on imported second hand items from China and Japan.

North Korea: land use map


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