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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of North Korea

WARNING: North Korea is unstable, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

North Korea forms the northern half of the Korean Peninsula in Asia's Far East. To its west is the Yellow Sea and to its east is, as most of the world recognizes it, the Sea of Japan. North Korea has three land borders, China and Russia to the north and South Korea to its south.

North Korea is a very inhospitable place as much of the country is covered in rugged mountains. From these mountains though there are numerous river valleys. The two most notable valleys and plains are the Yalu River, which forms much of the northern border with China and the southwestern plain where Pyongyang and much of the population lives.

Weather

Summers in North Korea consist of the time between about June to September, but this time is also the monsoon or rainy season. Temperatures in Pyongyang average about 75°F (25°C) during this time, while the mountains are cooler and the west receives a fair amount of humidity and rain. Winters hover right below the freezing point with the mountains remaining snowy for much of winter and the coasts typically about 15°F (-10°C) as an average. The fall (autumn) tends to be fairly warm and sunny as the leaves change color, while in the spring the Cherry Blossoms are in full color in about March-May.

Wildlife

The wildlife in North Korea is fairly diverse due to their geographical variations. Among the mammals present are deer, weasels, tigers, bears, lynx, and many smaller species. The greater diversity comes in the sea life in the surrounding waters, which contain numerous animals including sharks, tuna, mackerel, squid, shrimp, lobster, oysters, and crab among many others. There are also numerous fresh water fish in their rivers and lakes.

There are a number of birds that call North Korea home, both migratory birds and those that call the country home year round. Among the more common of these are pheasants, woodpeckers, owls, and grouse. Among the reptiles and amphibians are turtles, snakes, lizards, salamanders, frogs, and toads.

This page was last updated: May, 2012