Travel to North Korea

North Korea: currency

The national currency of North Korea is the won = 100 chon (NKW).

But it is practically irrelevant for visitors, since all expenses are to be paid in euros or dollars.

Travelers checks or credit cards are not accepted. ATMs are unknown.


At the end of 2009 the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il ordered a currency changeover. The “new” wong “has two zeros less than the old one. That would be less worth mentioning if it had not been ordered at the same time that only 100,000 old” wong “were allowed to be exchanged for new wong. This means the expropriation of a larger number of people who signed up The official exchange rate of 100,000 old wong was around € 590 at the end of 2009. On the new 5,000 wong banknote there is a picture of Kim Il-sung, the “President for Eternity”, who died in 1994, while the 2,000 wong – The hut is shown in which Kim Jong Il was born in 1942. The CFO Pak Nam Gi was responsible for the implementation. who hoped to get inflation under control with the changeover. Pak had headed the Labor Party’s Finance and Planning Committee, which was responsible for currency reform. But the action went completely wrong. As a result, he was shot dead in mid-March 2010 at the instigation of the “Dear Leader”.

North Korea: entry and exit regulations

Formalities, visas

Tourists are only allowed to enter the country if they have a return ticket and sufficient financial resources to finance their stay in the country themselves.

The following are responsible for issuing visas in Germany:

Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Visa Department of the Embassy of North Korea

Glinkastraße 5-7


Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 229 31 89

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 229 31 91


All types of foreign currency must be declared upon entry. The currency for foreign visitors is the euro, so all expenses in the country must be paid in euros; Credit cards are generally not accepted.

Import and export of goods

The import and export of weapons, ammunition or explosives is strictly prohibited. Hunting weapons, which must be declared upon entry, are excluded. In addition, the import and export of plants and animals protected under the Washington Species Protection Act is prohibited. Violation can result in severe penalties.

Daily necessities can be introduced. However, cameras, watches, jewelry, video devices and publications (magazines, newspapers) must be declared upon entry. Cell phones are to be handed in on entry against receipt. Importing Korean language publications, seeds, radios and binoculars is prohibited.

North Korea: Travel Medicine, Vaccinations and Warnings

Infectious Diseases

In North Korea, the following infectious diseases are to be expected, which are not or less widespread in Germany or Central and Northern Europe. However, it must be taken into account that only relatively uncertain information is available from the country on this:

  • Malaria: There is only a relatively low risk of infection in the area around the border between North and South Korea. Only tertian malaria occurs there.
  • Intestinal infections from contaminated food or water, including amoeba, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Polio, polio
  • rabies
  • typhus

Vaccination recommendations

The following vaccinations are recommended when entering North Korea:

  • Diphtheria – a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Polio, polio
  • Tetanus – a vaccination against tetanus should always exist, even in the home country.
  • Rabies – but only for high-risk travelers who can come into contact with the vector animals.
  • Typhoid – but only for travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.

Malaria prophylaxis

When traveling in the country, especially when traveling to the border areas mentioned above, it is advisable to undergo malaria prophylaxis despite the relatively low risk of infection. However, if the side effects seem questionable to you, you should at least have a ” stand-by preparation ” with you.

Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?

Most children in Germany are vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases at an early age. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago.

Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007.

There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory co-payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge:

  • cholera
  • diphtheria
  • Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Pneumococci
  • Polyo (polio)
  • Tetanus (tetanus)
  • rabies
  • typhus

Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis.

As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.

Compulsory vaccination

There are no vaccination regulations when entering or staying in the country.

North Korea: Embassies

Visit Countryaah for a full list of North Korea embassies and consulates in each country around the world.

Representations of North Korea in Germany

The embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is located on Glinkatraße – corner Mohrenstraße in Berlin-Mitte.

German representations in North Korea

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Munsudong District

Pyongyang (Pyongyang)

Tel: 00850 – 2 – 381 73 85

Fax: 00850 – 2 – 381 73 97

Austrian representations in North Korea


The embassy in China is responsible

Representations of North Korea in Austria

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

Beckmanngasse 10-12

1140 Vienna

Tel: 0043 – (0) 1 – 894 23 13

Fax: 0043 – (0) 1 – 894 31 74


Swiss representations in North Korea


The embassy in China is responsible

Representations of North Korea in Switzerland

Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Pourtalèsstrasse 43

3074 Muri b. Berne

Tel: 0041 – (0) 31 – 951 66 21

Fax: 0041 – (0) 31 – 951 57 04


Travel to North Korea