North Korean won (KPW)
The telephone code for North-Korea: + 850
North Korea, is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from Goryeo (or Koryo), a name used by ancient and medieval kingdoms. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang. North Korea shares a land border with China to the north and north-west, along the Amnok (Yalu) and Tumen rivers. A small section of the Tumen River also forms North Korea's short border with Russia to the northeast. The Korean Demilitarized Zone marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea. The legitimacy of this border is not accepted by either side, as both states claim to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula.
North Korea has a combination of a continental climate and an oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons. Most of the country is classified as type Dwa in the Köppen climate classification scheme, with warm summers and cold, dry winters. Average snowfall is 37 days during the winter. Summer tends to be short, hot, and wet. Typhoons affect the peninsula on an average of at least once every summer. Late spring droughts often are followed by severe flooding.
Despite a historically strong Chinese influence, Korean culture has shaped its own unique identity. It came under attack during the Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945, when Japan enforced a cultural assimilation policy. Koreans were encouraged to learn and speak Japanese, adopt the Japanese family name system and Shinto religion, and were forbidden to write or speak the Korean language in schools, businesses, or public places.
After the peninsula was divided in 1945, two distinct cultures formed out of the common Korean heritage. North Koreans have almost no exposure to foreign influence apart from occasional performances like the New York Philharmonic Orchestra concert in February 2008. Contemporary cultural expression in the country serves a primarily didactic purpose by promoting the Juche idea and Korean reunification. The revolutionary struggle and the brilliance of the leadership are some of the main themes in art. "Reactionary" elements from traditional culture have been discarded and cultural forms with a "folk" spirit have been reintroduced.
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 food. 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.