The North Korean passport is currently ranked 99th place on the Guide Passport Index. It is considered one of the lowest ranking passports in the world. North Korean passport holders have visa-free access to only 38 destinations including Dominica, Madagascar and Seychelles. There are 191 destinations for which a North Korean passport holder requires to obtain a visa prior to traveling. That is the reason why the Passport Ranking is very low on the overall worldwide mobility score. For major destinations such as the USA and the European Union, North Koreans require to apply for a visa in advance. Visa applicants need to present documents such as proof of funds and return flight ticket.
The North Korea passport ranking relative to other global passports is calculated by adding up the number of countries that allow North Korea passport holders to enter without a visa (i.e. visa-free countries) and those that allow North Korea passport holders to enter by obtaining a visa on arrival (i.e. visa-on-arrival countries) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). There are currently a total of 9 North Korea passport visa-free countries, 29 North Korea visa-on-arrival countries, and 0 eTA destinations.
Altogether, North Korea passport holders can enter a total of 38 destinations—either without a visa, through a visa on arrival, or via an eTA. As a result, the North Korea passport ranks 99 in the world.
Separate from these North Korea visa-free countries and visa-on-arrival countries, there are 191 additional destinations which North Korea passport holders either need a physical visa to enter or an eVisa (i.e. visa required countries).
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is made of nine provinces. It is located in Eastern Asia and borders China, Russia and South Korea. The most significant provinces are South Pyongan, South Hamgyong and North Pyongan. The country has a total surface area of 120,540 square kilometers, making it the 30th largest country in the Asia. Its terrain is diverse with wide coastal plains, deep valleys and mountains. The climate is temperate with harsh winters.
The overall population is over 25 million people. The capital of the country is Pyongyang. It is also the most populous city with more than 2.9 million inhabitants. Other important cities are Hamhung, Chongjin and Nampo. The largest and only international airport currently is Pyongyang International Airport (FNJ). It hosts the national carrier Air Koryo. The airport connects Pyongyang to domestic destinations and to Beijing.
North Korean culture is dominated by the government and national pride. Religious beliefs are diverse between, Buddhist, Confucianist and Christianity. The official language is Korean. The legal system is the civil law based on the Prussian model with Japanese and Soviet influences. The government form is a dictatorship. The current chief of state is Supreme People’s Assembly President Choe Ryong Hae. The head of government is State Affairs Commission Chairman Kim Jong Un. Elections take place every 5 years and are determined by the Supreme People’s Assembly.
The official currency is the North Korean won (KPW). Its current exchange rate is about 900 won to the USD. The country has a closed state-controlled economy. It generates a GDP of approximately $40 billion. The per capita income is $1,800. The largest portion of the GDP is generated by the industry sector. Almost all of the GDP is generated by the mining and military product industry. North Korea has very limited possibilities of export and is only trading with China. The main export product is coal.
North Korea has many historic and culturally unique attractions for tourists to explore. The country has a total of 2 UNESCO world heritage sites. Main touristic destinations are the demilitarized zone, Mount Myohyang-san, the Tower of Juche, the Kim Il Sung Square, the Pyongyang Metro and the Koryo Musem. North Korea only issues tourism visa when on an organized tour guided by state approved employees. There are about 200,000 yearly touristic visitors. The majority originating from China.