Country Information

CIA World Factbook North Korea

In its World Factbook, the US Central Intelligence Agency gives an overview of the geography, society, government, economy and further information concerning 267 countries and territories.

Chronologies

A Comprehensive History of North Korea’s Nuclear Programme

An overview by Stanford University of the origins and political and technical developments and contexts of North Korea’s nuclear programme from 1992 to 2017.

Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy

Compiled by the Arms Control Association, the chronology “summarises in greater detail developments in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and the efforts to end them, since 1985”.

EU sanctions

The European Union has transposed UN sanctions into EU law and supplemented them with its own measures. The sanctions timeline provides an overview.

HRNK Timeline (North Korea)

This timeline by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) uses four categories to present relevant internal, security, human rights and international events related to North Korea from 1945 to 2014.

North Korea Chronology

Since 2001, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has been publishing detailed and annotated annual chronologies of events in and about North Korea within the framework of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project. References to official speeches are cited in full.

North Korea Profile - Timeline

This timeline by the British public broadcaster BBC provides brief summaries of important events in and about North Korea.

Timeline North Korea Nuclear Negotiations 1985–2018

An illustrated timeline by the Council on Foreign Relations of important events in the nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the US.

DPRK (North Korea) Chronology of Events

The United Nations Security Council has listed its activities and important events concerning North Korea, chronologically and in detail.

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Interactice charts and maps

38North DPRK Digital Atlas

Based on satellite images, the 38North project has compiled an interactive atlas of North Korea, on which the “political, economic, cultural and security infrastructure” can be mapped.

Getting to Grips with North Korea in 15 Graphics

On its website, the South China Morning Post, a Hong-Kong-based newspaper, presents military and economic issues related to North Korea and South Korea’s security measures using maps, charts and interactive graphics.

Missiles of North Korea

The Missile Defense Project of the US think tank CSIS shows North Korea’s missile and atomic bomb tests via diagrams and a table.

North Korea Crisis

In its project “Global Conflict Tracker”, the Council on Foreign Relations presents the North Korean crisis and its role in US foreign policy by means of analyses, maps, photos and current news.

North Korea Facilities Map

This interactive map of the Nuclear Threat Initiative displays the nuclear, biological and chemical warfare facilities (research, development and production) in North Korea.

North Korea in graphics

This Reuters news agency website offers a compilation of articles with visuals on inter-Korean relations, the economy, nuclear programme and other military topics. Reuters’ coverage of North Korea is presented on the North Korea Revealed page.

North Korea in the World

An interactive map, charts and tables show “North Korea’s external relations” in diplomacy and economics. The project is a cooperation of the East-West Center and the National Committee on North Korea.

North Korea Missile Test Visualization

This page provides a three-dimensional interactive visualisation of North Korean missile tests from 1984 to 2017, based on the North Korea Missile Test Database at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

Rocket Men: The Team Building North Korea’s Nuclear Missile

An article in the New York Times with pictures and videos about the scientists behind the North Korean missile and nuclear programmes, and North Korean symbolism.

Understanding UN Sanctions

In this interactive overview of UN sanctions against North Korea since 1993, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace shows individual areas targeted, such as trade goods, and refers to the corresponding passages in the UN resolutions.

Where can North Korea’s missiles reach?

The public radio station ABC Australia uses several animations of the globe to illustrate the range of North Korea’s missiles.

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Databases, portals and publication series

The CNS North Korea Missile Test Database

The database of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, created for the Nuclear Threat Initiative, documents North Korean missile tests since 1984. It records missiles with a minimum weight of 500 kilograms and a minimum range of 300 kilometres.

Comparative connections

Comparative Connections is an e-journal published by the Pacific Forum CSIS with up-to-date information and analyses on bilateral relations in East Asia.

CRS reports

The North Korean Economy Watch Blog documents the US Congress’s research service reports relating to North Korea.

The CSIS Beyond Parallel Database

The databases of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) record North Korean provocations in connection with elections in the USA and South Korea as well as their joint military exercises. It also provides data on diplomacy between North Korea and the USA and between China and North Korea. The information can be filtered and downloaded as an Excel or PDF file.

Document Database (NCNK)

The database of the National Committee on North Korea documents official government reports and documents concerning North Korea.

North Korea International Documentation Project

The North Korea International Documentation Project, run by the Wilson Center in Washington DC and the South Korean University of North Korean Studies, documents, among others, declassified historical documents by North Korea’s former communist allies. It furthermore operates the Modern Korean History Portal as well as a database on inter-Korean relations.

North Korea Missile Launches: 1984-Present

The database of the Missile Threat Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) records rocket and nuclear tests in North Korea in chronological order since they began in 1984. In addition to graphics, there is information on rockets and ballistic missiles.

North Korean Review Online

The North Korean Review Online is the digital extension of the journal of the same name, which has been published since 2005 by the Institute for North Korean Studies at the US University of Detroit Mercy and the Institute for North Korean Studies of Yonsei University in Seoul. Its focus is exclusively on North Korea. The magazine is subject to a fee.

reliefweb: North Korea

reliefweb is an information portal of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that documents reports, maps and infographics on global crises and disasters.

Unified Human Rights Database

The Unified Human Rights Database, operated by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, collects data on human rights violations in North Korea. It evaluates documents, interviews, questionnaires, Internet posts, image and video material, etc..

Vantage Point: Developments in North Korea

Vantage Point was an English-language monthly magazine published by the Yonhap News Agency with a focus on North Korean news and analysis. The magazine was discontinued in 2016. The archive (1978 to 2016) can be viewed here.

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United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Declarations and Reports

UN Documents for DPRK (North Korea): Security Council Resolutions

United Nations Security Council Resolutions on North Korea since 1991 and related Security Council Presidential Statements.

United Nations Security Council Report: North Korea

Website of the Security Council Report on North Korea, which aims to promote the transparency and effectiveness of the UN Security Council by providing up-to-date information on the activities of the Council and its subsidiary bodies. A chronology of events can be found here.

Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1718 (2006)

Following the nuclear weapons test on 9 October 2006, the Security Council imposed extensive economic sanctions on North Korea on 14 October 2006, demanded the cessation of all nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, and called for its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes to be abolished. A Sanctions Committee (1718 Committee) was established, assisted by a Panel of Experts.

Fact Sheet on the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Sanctions Committee (2006)

Facts about the mandate, sanctions and working methods of the United Nations’ North Korea Sanctions Committee.

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Official websites

2018 Inter-Korean Summit

Official website of the Inter-Korean Summit convened on the 27 April 2018. The final Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula can be found here.

Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Website of the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang with information on bilateral relations with North Korea.

European Union External Action Service: North Korea

Official website of the EU External Action Service with information on political, economic and trade relations with North Korea.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China: North Korea

Website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry with comprehensive information on relations between the People’s Republic of China and North Korea.

Ministry of Unification

Official website of the South Korean Ministry of Unification with information on South Korean policy towards North Korea, exchange and cooperation between the two Koreas and the latest developments in North Korea.

Six Party Talks on Korean Nuclear Issue (6th Round)

Official website of the Chinese government about the process of six-party talks (China, USA, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan), including a detailed description of each country.

United Nations DPR Korea

Website with information about the UN aid organisations in North Korea and the United Nations Strategic Framework 2017-2021.

US Department of State: North Korea

Official website of the US Department of State on bilateral relations with North Korea.

The White House: Search Results “North Korea”

Official website of the White House with link to the search result “North Korea”.

World Health Organization (WHO)

Website of the World Health Organisation with statistical data on health and nutrition in North Korea and the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2014-2019.

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Think tanks, research institutes and other organizations

International Institutes

38 North

38 North publishes political and technical analyses on security-related developments in North Korea and the region. Under the direction of Joel Wit and Jenny Town, the website has been part of the East Asia Program of the Stimson Center in Washington D.C. since June 1, 2018.

Arms Control Association: North Korea

Founded in 1971, the Arms Control Association is a non-partisan membership organisation based in Washington D.C., dedicated to promoting public understanding and supporting an effective arms control policy. The organisation also offers fact sheets on the negotiations between North Korea and the US, the 1994 Agreed Framework, the six-party talks (2003-2008) and the Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

Beyond Parallel

Beyond Parallel is an interactive website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that provides analysis on economic development, migration, food security, transitional justice, human rights and health, and all issues of strategic importance for reunification. Beyond Parallel uses data visualisation tools and publishes satellite images of the North Korean Armaments Programme.

The Brookings Institution: North Korea

Brookings is a long-established, non-profit think tank based in Washington D.C. conducting research that “leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level. Among other things, it provides analyses on North Korea.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: North Korea

The US foreign policy think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, founded in 1910, has centres in Washington D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Brussels, New Delhi and Beijing. In Beijing, together with Tsinghua University, it has founded the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center.

The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: North Korea

Founded in 1980, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a non-profit think tank based in Washington D.C. that works to reduce nuclear arsenals and stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Council on Foreign Relations: North Korea

The US Council on Foreign Relations, based in New York City and Washington D.C., is an impartial think tank founded in 1921 with a focus on foreign policy issues. It publishes the journal Foreign Affairs, which is well-known in political and academic circles. This link leads to the North Korea page. A website with information about the US-North Korea Summit can be found here.

The Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP): Korean Peninsula

The ISDP is a non-profit and impartial Swedish think tank based in Stockholm. It is dedicated to broadening the understanding of international affairs, with an emphasis on the links between security, conflict and development. Its Asia programme focuses on the peripheral region of the Eurasian continent, including East, South-East and South Asia. This link leads to analyses about the Korean peninsula.

International Crisis Group (ICG): Korean Peninsula

International Crisis Group is an international NGO founded in 1995 by prominent statesmen, which works to “prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world”. This link leads to its page with information and analysis concerning the Korean Peninsula.

Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS): Korean Peninsula

The Institute for Science and International Security, founded in 1993 by David Albright, a former nuclear weapons inspector with the United Nations, is an independent US military research institute based in Washington D.C. The link leads to a page with information on the Korean peninsula and provides reports and analyses as well as evaluations of satellite imagery.

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS): East Asia

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, headquartered in Monterey, California, with centres in Washington D.C. and Vienna, is a U.S. non-governmental organisation dedicated to research and training in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR): North Korea/DPRK

The National Bureau of Asian Research is a U.S. non-profit research organisation with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and a branch office in Washington D.C., whose mission is to inform and strengthen Asia Pacific policy.

The National Committee on North Korea (NCNK)

The National Committee on North Korea is an American non-governmental organisation based in Washington D.C. and sees itself as a bridge-builder between the USA and North Korea in the fields of politics, security, economics, justice, human rights, education and culture as well as science and technology. The NCNK publishes briefings and organises conferences for policy makers and experts.

Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability

The Policy Forum of the Nautilus Peace and Security Network at the Nautilus Institute analyses current security-related developments in Northeast Asia with a focus on North Korea. The Nautilus Institute was founded in 1993 and has offices in San Francisco, Melbourne and Seoul.

Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a U.S. organisation dedicated to the reduction of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Alongside general information on North Korea’s armament programme, it provides interactive 3D information on ballistic missiles and operates the CNS North Korea Missile Test Database.

RAND Corporation: North Korea

The RAND Corporation is a U.S. non-profit global policy think tank headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in the United States, Europe and Australia. Founded in 1948 with a focus on national security issues, its topics are now multifaceted and increasingly multidisciplinary.

Regional Institutes

Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Similar to the European Leadership Network (ELN), the APLN consists of a group of former leaders from politics, diplomacy and the military. The group deals with nuclear hazards in the Asia-Pacific at conferences and in publications, often focusing on North Korea.

The Asan Institute for Policy Studies: Korean Peninsula

The Asan Institute for Policy Studies is an independent think tank based in Seoul that conducts policy-relevant research to promote peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and the reunification of Korea. This link leads to publications related to the Korean Peninsula. The publication Asan Korea Perspective can be found here.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI): North Korea

ASPI was founded in 2001 by the Australian government and sees itself as an independent, impartial think tank for Australia’s strategic and defence policy makers.

East Asia Foundation

The East Asia Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004, based in Seoul. In addition to the quarterly journal Global Asia, which deals with current regional issues in trade and security policy, the Foundation also co-organises the annual conference “The Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity“.

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)

Founded in 1972, the IFES research institute at Kyungnam University in Seoul focuses on international relations and their impact on South Korea. Research activities cover topics such as the rule of law in South Korea, the welfare of North Korean defectors living in South Korea, and inter-Korean economic relations. Publications in English can be found here.

Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA)

The South Korean Korea Institute for Defence Analyses is a state-funded research and consultancy institute that deals with defence issues on the Korean peninsula.

Institute for National Security (INSS)

Founded in 2007, the Institute for National Security is a public research institute sponsored by the South Korean government and based in Seoul. The Institute investigates issues of national and international security and inter-Korean relations. The Journal of East Asian Affairs is published twice a year and is freely accessible.

Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU)

The Korea Institute for National Unification is a think tank founded and financed by the South Korean government in 1990 to research questions of Korean reunification. In addition to reports and analyses, KINU publishes the freely accessible International Journal of Korean Unification Studies twice a year.

Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS): Korean Peninsula

The Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security is a South Korean think tank for foreign policy and security affiliated with Seoul National University. IFANS researches the government’s medium to long-term foreign policy and diplomatic strategy and develops policy recommendations on diplomatic issues.

Jeju Peace Institute (JPI)

The Jeju Peace Institute is located in Seogwipo, a city of the island province Jeju-do in South Korea. It was founded in 2006 and sees itself as a research institution for the research and promotion of peace on the Korean peninsula and for the promotion of regional cooperation in East Asia.

Organisations with a focus on human rights

All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea

The cross-party parliamentary group of British MPs develops solutions to promote and support human rights, democracy and security in North Korea.

Amnesty International (AI): North Korea

Amnesty International (AI) is an NGO and non-profit organisation based in London with more than 50 sections worldwide working for human rights. AI is mainly financed by membership and support fees as well as donations.

Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR)

NKHR is an NGO based in Seoul that has been dedicated to the promotion of human rights in North Korea since 1996. It played a key role in establishing the post of UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea in 2004 and the UN Commission of Inquiry into North Korea in 2013.

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK)

The Human Rights Committee of North Korea (HRNK), based in Washington D.C., is a non-partisan human rights organisation whose goal is to raise international awareness of the human rights situation in North Korea. Its publications document human rights violations against citizens in the totalitarian state of North Korea and describe the conditions in political prisons and labour camps.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: North Korea

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, a part of the US Department of State, publishes annual reports on the human rights situation in North Korea.

Human Rights Watch (HRW): North Korea

Human Rights Watch is an internationally active non-governmental organisation based in New York City, which advocates the protection of human rights through investigations and public relations work.

UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR): Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This link leads to the OHCHR’s activities and publications on North Korea. The UN Human Rights Office in Seoul has its own page. The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), established in 2013, also provides information.

White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea

The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) publishes an annual White Paper on the human rights situation in North Korea.

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Media: Press, Blogs, Podcasts

Press

Daily NK

Daily NK, based in Seoul, is operated by the Unification Media Group and is an online newspaper that reports on North Korea and receives its news from a network of informants in North Korea.

The Diplomat: The Koreas

The Diplomat categorises developments in the Asia-Pacific region under the headings of politics, security, and society. Five articles per month are available free of charge.

KCNA Watch

KCNA Watch publishes real-time news from North Korea’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), which can still be found even after KCNA has archived or edited the articles. KCNA Watch enables social media distribution with permalinks that can be quoted in specialist journals.

NK Briefs

The weekly North Korea Briefs by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) summarize the most important developments in North Korea in the fields of politics, economics, the military and society.

NK News

This service, based in Washington D.C., Seoul and London, was founded in April 2010. It monitors global news and information on North Korea, publishes its own analyses and operates, inter alia, a database of companies in North Korea. The contents are subject to a charge. Its podcasts are accessible for free.

Yonhap News: North Korea

Yonhap News is South Korea’s state news agency. In late 2002 it signed an exchange agreement with North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Blogs

Arms Control Wonk

The blog was founded in 2004 by Jeffrey Lewis, a leading US expert on nuclear non-proliferation and geopolitics. More than 30 experts comment on issues of global arms control and disarmament as well as non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including Joshua Pollack as US expert on nuclear and missile proliferation in East Asia, with a focus on North Korea. The archive holds over 3,000 articles.

China US Focus: Korean Peninsula

This platform is run by the China-United States Exchange Foundation and publishes contributions by American and Chinese experts on US-China relations. One focus is on the Korean Peninsula.

Korea Vision

This North Korea blog is run by Leonid Petrov, Visiting Fellow at the College of Asia and the Pacific at Sydney’s Australian National University.

North Korean Economy Watch

North Korean Economy Watch has been run by 38North since 2006. The blog focuses on internal and external economic developments relating to North Korea.

North Korea Leadership Watch

38North’s North Korea Leadership Watch blog provides information on the biography of the Kim Jong Il dynasty and the political and military institutions under Kim Jong Il’s control, including the Korean Workers Party (KWP), the National Defence Commission (NDC) and the government of the DPRK.

North Korea Tech

North Korea Tech describes developments in information technology and related industries in North Korea. The blog is operated by Martyn Williams, senior correspondent for the IDG News Service in San Francisco, and belongs to 38North.

North Korea Witness of Transformation

The authors of the North Korea blog at the Peterson Institute of International Economics (PIIE), which had gone online in 2011, announced at the beginning of 2018 that they would temporarily suspend the blog; however, contributions continue to appear at irregular intervals. Contents are searchable via a filter.

The Peninsula

This blog is a forum on foreign policy, economic and social issues concerning the Korean peninsula. The blog is located at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) in Seoul.

ROK drop

ROK Drop is a blog by a veteran of the United States Forces Korea. Its short contributions deal with relevant events in defence and security domains on the Korean peninsula.

Sino-NK

Sino-NK was founded in December 2011 by a group of young academics of Chinese and Korean Studies. The blog focuses on the Chinese-North Korean border region and transnational relations between the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea.

Podcasts

NK News Podcast

Regular podcasts by NK News focus on current political developments in North Korea and their background.

Korean Context Podcasts

In its regular podcasts, the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) interviews experts on security policy issues on the Korean peninsula, on trade, the economy and human rights in North Korea and on the alliance between South Korea and the US.

The Impossible State

In its weekly podcast series, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) interviews its own experts on current developments in North Korea.

Korea Chair Podcast

The Korea Chair was founded by the South Korean Korea Foundation (KF) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in 2017. The chair is based in Brussels at the VUB’s Institute for European Studies and serves as a platform for exchange on shared strategic challenges between Europe and South Korea. The podcast series thus focuses on North Korea as a topic, as well as on events and publications organised by the Korea Chair.

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