Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Chosŏn Minchu-chui Inmin Konghwa-guk

Note: On December 17, 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack at the age of 69. He is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.

Political Status: Communist people's republic established on September 9, 1948.

Area: 46,540 sq. mi. (120,538 sq. km.).

Population: 24,835,112 (2012E—UN); 24,589,122 (2012E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (2008C): PYONGYANG (2,581,076 city; 3,255,388 urban area), Namhung (703,610), Chongjin (614,892).

Official Language: Korean.

Monetary Unit: Won. On December 1, 2009, the won was internally revalued at a rate of 100 old won to 1 new won. This action did not affect the official exchange rate of 143.05 won = $1US.

Chair of the National Defense Commission: KIM Jong Il (KIM Chŏng-il); served as de facto head of state from the death of President ...

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