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Pyongyang montage.png
Chosŏn'gŭl : 평양 직할시
Hancha : 平壤 直轄市
McCune-Reischauer : P'yŏngyang Chikhalsi
Revised Romanization : Pyeongyang Jikhalsi
Basic data
Surface: 2,653 km²

Residents: 3,038,000 (as of May 2018)
Population density : 1,145 inhabitants per km²
Structure :

18 city districts ( Kuyŏk );
1 county ( Kun )

Administrative headquarters : P'yŏngyang
Südkorea China Russland Rason Hamgyŏng-pukto Ryanggang-do Chagang-do Hamgyŏng-namdo P’yŏngan-pukto Pjöngjang P’yŏngan-namdo Hwanghae-pukto Hwanghae-namdo Kangwŏn-doPyongyang-chikhalsi in North Korea.svg
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Satellite image of Pyongyang

Pyongyang ( Korean 평양 [ pʰjʌ̹ŋja̠ŋ ], MR P'yŏngyang, RR Pyeongyang, YR Phyeng.yang , English Pyongyang ), also Pyongyang or in the GDR Ph (j) öngjang , is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and is located in the southwest of the country. It is under central administration by the government. 3.04 million people live in the core city (2018).

The city is the political, economic and cultural center as well as the transport hub of the country with the Mansudae congress hall , universities and various theaters, museums and monuments.


Pyongyang written in Chosŏn'gŭl (above) and Hancha (below).

The name Pyongyang means something like 'peaceful' or 'flat land'. The name comes from the Old Korean buruna ( 부루나 ), which means 'flat' or 'flat land' and was translated into Chinese characters ( Hanja ). During the Kochosŏn period, the capital Wanggŏmsŏng is said to have been in the area where Pyongyang is today. A major city in Korean mythology and history. During the Koguryŏ period, the place Pyŏngyang-sŏng ( Chosŏn'gŭl : 평양성 , Hancha : 平壤 城 , 'Castle Pyŏngyang'), Nangnang ( 낙랑 / 樂 浪 ), Jangan ( 장안 / 長安 ) and Andong-dohobu ( 안동 도호부 / 安 東 都 護 府 'Andong Protectorate'). At the time of the Koryast dynasty , the city was called Sŏgyŏng ( 서경 / 西京 'western capital'), Sŏdo and Ryugyŏng ( 류경 / 京 京 'city of willows '). With the beginning of the Chosŏn dynasty , the place was continuously named Pyŏngyang. At the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea , the city was called Heijō based on the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Pyŏngyang. Furthermore, the city was nicknamed "Jerusalem of the East" by missionaries in the 20th century due to the high number of Christian residents.


Geographical location

View from the Juche Tower to downtown Pyongyang

Pyongyang is located in the middle of the northwestern lowlands of the Korean Peninsula , surrounded by mountains and rivers, plains and hills, on the Taedong River an average of 38  m high. To the northwest are low mountain ranges and to the east are some small hills. It is also traversed by the tributary Pothong .

The entire administrative area of ​​Pyongyang, including the rural settlement areas, covers an area of ​​2,653 square kilometers. In comparison, the Saarland has a similarly large area of ​​2,569 square kilometers.

City structure

City map of Pyongyang from 1946

The city province of Pyongyang was detached from the province of P'yŏngan-namdo in 1946 and declared a special administrative region. Since then it has been administered centrally by the government. Pyongyang is divided into 18 districts and one district. It is not to be confused with the South Korean district of Pyeongchang-gun .

In 2010 the government divided the former urban district Sŭngho-guyŏk ( kor.  승호 구역 , Hanja  勝 湖 區域 ) as well as the districts of Chunghwa-gun ( kor.  중화 군 , Hanja  中 和 郡 ), Kangnam-gun ( kor.  강남 군 , Hanja  江南 郡 ) and Sangwŏn-gun ( Kor.  상원 군 , Hanja  祥 原 郡 ) of the neighboring province of Hwanghae-pukto . In 2011, however, Kangnam was reintegrated into Pyongyang.



Various axes form a special urban development feature through the symmetrical juxtaposition of monumental buildings such as the Mansudae monument and the monument to the founding of the Labor Party of Korea .


The city is located in the temperate climate zone . The average annual temperature is 10.7 ° C and the annual rainfall is 939.8 mm.

The summers are very warm and humid during the monsoon season from June to September. The winters are strongly influenced by cold winds from Siberia and are therefore very cold but dry.

The warmest month is August with an average of 24.4 ° C, the coldest is January with an average of −8.1 ° C. Most of the precipitation falls in July with an average of 275.2 mm, the least in February with an average of 11.0 mm.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Long-term mean temperature and precipitation (1971-2000)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −0.8 2.4 8.9 17.1 22.6 26.7 28.6 28.9 24.7 18.2 9.4 1.7 O 15.8
Min. Temperature (° C) −10.7 −7.8 −1.8 4.9 10.9 16.5 20.7 20.5 14.3 6.7 −0.3 −7.2 O 5.6
Precipitation ( mm ) 12.2 11.0 24.7 49.9 72.2 90.3 275.2 212.8 100.2 39.9 34.9 16.5 Σ 939.8
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 5.8 6.5 7.0 7.8 8.4 7.5 5.6 6.2 7.2 7.1 5.6 5.2 O 6.7
Rainy days ( d ) 5.2 4.2 5.1 6.7 8.1 8.7 14.4 11.0 7.2 6.1 7.3 5.9 Σ 89.9
Humidity ( % ) 74 71 66 63 66 70 80 78 74 72 72 73 O 71.6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Historical overview

Heijō City Hall (before 1945)
A map of Heijō from around 1930

Pyongyang is considered to be the oldest city on the Korean Peninsula. The name Pyongyang means "flat land" or "cozy environment". According to legend, it was founded in 2333 BC. BC by the demigod Dangun Wanggeom , the mythological founder of Korea , under the name Wanggŏmsŏng ( kor.  왕검성 , Hanja  王儉 城 ).

The written history begins 108 BC. With the establishment of a Chinese trading colony near the city. In 427 Pyongyang became the capital of the Kingdom of Goguryeo . In 668 the city was conquered by the Chinese. In 1135, Myo Cheong, king of Goryeo (after whom Korea was named in the west), made Seogyeong (now Pyongyang) his second capital.

The Japanese army occupied Pyongyang from 1592 to 1593. Chinese forces captured the city in 1627 and set it on fire. After Korea opened up abroad, Pyongyang became the base for Christian proselytizing. Over 100 churches have been built in the city and by 1880 there were more Protestant missionaries in the city than in any other Asian city.

During the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the subsequent epidemics, Pyongyang was largely destroyed and almost completely depopulated. During the Japanese colonial period (1910–1945), Pyongyang developed into an industrial center. The city had the Japanese name Heijō at this time .

During the Korean War (1950–1953), the city was destroyed again by air raids. After the war, numerous parks and broad streets lined with large residential buildings were created. Pyongyang developed into a political, economic and cultural center as well as a transport hub for the country.

Formally, Pyongyang was only elevated to the status of the capital of North Korea in 1972, which from 1948 until then was only considered a temporary measure. During this period, the North Korean constitution referred to the history of Korea during the time of the Joseon Kingdom and the Korean Empire , in which Seoul was the capital for centuries .


The traditional religions of Pyongyang are Buddhism and Confucianism , but today a large part of the population is believed to be religiousless. Article 68 of the North Korean Constitution grants its citizens the freedom to practice their religion as long as this is not abused "for infiltration by external forces or to violate state and social order". Nevertheless, both Christian organizations such as Open Doors and secular aid agencies such as Amnesty International report that practicing Christians are being locked up in internment camps and that freedom of religion does not actually exist.

According to these reports, although there are several show churches for propaganda purposes (e.g. the Pongsu Church or the Jangchung Cathedral ), the right enshrined in the constitution would be denied to Christians as it is not a state-controlled organization. Nevertheless, there is an active underground church. For a long time, Christianity was particularly strongly represented in Pyongyang. The American pastor and philosopher George Trumbull Ladd (1842–1921) estimated the number of Christians at 13,000 to 14,000 when he visited the city on April 7, 1907. The proportion of the total population was about a third. The number of churches was over 100. That is why Pyongyang was also known as the " Jerusalem of the East ".

Population development

From 40,000 residents in 1890, the city's population rose to over 100,000 by 1924. By 1938, that number had doubled to 235,000. In 1962 there were 653,000 people in Pyongyang; in 1978 it was 1.3 million. In 2010 the core city had 3.3 million inhabitants. The average life expectancy of men is 68 years, that of women 74 years. However, due to the recurring famine and poor medical care, life expectancy has decreased significantly.

Pyongyang is ethnically homogeneous and has a very low percentage of foreigners. Almost all Koreans live in the city . Reasons for this are also the isolationist policy of the government, the social ostracism of all non-Koreans and the low attractiveness of the city for immigrants. It is considered practically impossible to settle in Pyongyang as a foreigner.

The following overview shows the population of the core city (excluding the suburbs).

year Residents
1890 40,000
1906 43,000
1911 36,800
1920 58,600
1922 86,500
1924 102,700
1929 120,000
1932 144,200
1935 182,100
1938 234,700
1940 286,000
1944 388,000
year Residents
1962 653,000
1965 800,000
1967 840,000
1970 940,000
1978 1,250,000
1981 1,283,000
1986 1,300,000
1993 2,354,898
2002 2,724,700
2007 3,059,678
2010 3,270,582



Pyongyang is under central government administration and has the status of a province. The government apparatus is dominated by the Labor Party of Korea , whose leadership role is enshrined in the constitution. The mayor of the capital is appointed by the First Secretary of the Labor Party of Korea.

The highest power organ is formally the parliament, whose members are elected for five years. The procedure for filling public offices is referred to in the constitution as democratic centralism . In general, the only candidate nominated by the Labor Party of Korea wins with a large majority.

Town twinning

Pyongyang has a partnership with the following cities:

Culture and sights


One of the city's many theaters is the Great Opera House at the intersection of Sungni and Yonggwang Streets. It offers space for 2,200 people, and up to 700 actors can appear on the stage. The Korean operas listed there last about three to four hours.

In the northeast of Pyongyang, near the Rungna Bridge , there is a second opera house. Opposite it is the Central Youth Hall for concerts and artistic performances with a capacity of 3,600 people.

The Moranbong Theater, built in the ancient Greek style , is located near the Chollima statue. It served the first popular assembly in 1948 after independence from Japan and is now used for performances.


Army Museum

One of the most famous museums in Pyongyang is the Historical Museum . The history of Korea from the Stone Age to the Japanese colonial period can be seen in a total of 19 exhibition rooms.

Opposite the History Museum is the Korean Art Gallery . It was opened in 1954 and houses antique art objects as well as modern - party loyalty - paintings and sculptures on an area of ​​11,000 square meters. Nearby is the Folklore Museum, which exhibits Korean folk art and culture. Furthermore, the museum of the founding of the party exists in a building erected in 1923 under Japanese rule. In the exhibition there of the three revolutions , the ideological, technical and cultural achievements of North Korea are presented in several themed halls. The Korean Postage Stamp Museum has existed since 1946 . The Pyongyang Railway Museum is opposite the Central Station. The Pyongyang Metro Museum is located on Kumsong Street .

Until the end of 2012, the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) , the only ship in the US Navy that is in the hands of a foreign power and can be visited, was on the Taedong River . The ship was arrested in 1968 under unexplained circumstances and the crew released in 1969.


The city has been destroyed several times by wars and then rebuilt. Modern Pyongyang has numerous parks and wide streets lined with large residential buildings. Attractions in Pyongyang include the remains of the earlier city walls, graves from the 1st century BC. Chr. And Buddhist temples.

Most of the magnificent buildings were built by the North Korean construction company Mansudae Overseas Projects .

Example of the lively construction activity since the beginning of the 2010s (residential high-rise buildings on Changjon Street).

Since Kim Jong-un came to power, building activity has started in the city area. Examples would be Mirae Street or Ryomyong Street . In May 2014 , a residential building collapsed , the number of victims in the hundreds.

Mansudae major monument

The large monument on Mansu Hill in the city center is intended to honor the revolutionary struggle of the North Korean people under Kim Il-sung. It was built by the construction company Mansudae Overseas Projects and opened in April 1972 on the 60th birthday of the head of state.

Until April 2012, a single statue of Kim Il-sung stood in the center of the monument. On the occasion of Kim Il-sung's 100th birthday, a double statue of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il was inaugurated on April 13, 2012. The original statue of Kim Il-sung was replaced by a new one. Instead of the Mao suit, Kim Il-sung is now shown in a business suit. He also wears glasses and smiles. The characteristic arm extended forward was retained. The statue of Kim Jong-ils standing next to it represents him in a coat and a typical uniform-like blazer.

To the left and right of this are two large sculptures, each with a stone, waving flag in the center, surrounded by a total of 228 statues up to five meters high, which are supposed to represent the people. In the background is the wall of the Revolution Museum, on which the “holy mountain of the revolution”, the Paektu , is depicted in a mosaic . The total area of ​​the monument is said to be 240,000 m². Across the Taedong River , across from the Mansudae, is the Monument to the Founding of the Labor Party of Korea .

Kim Il sung Square

To the south of Mansu Hill is the huge Kim-Il-sung Square. It is kept in the communist tradition of area-emphasized parade grounds, but with its around 75,000 granite-covered square meters it lags behind Tian'anmen Square in Beijing . It was built in 1954 and is mainly used for parades and marches.

Chuch'e tower

The 170-meter-high Chuch'e Tower, which was ceremoniously unveiled in 1982 for Kim Il-sung's 70th birthday, stands on the east bank of the Taedong as the most striking part of an overall complex. It consists of a base, a stepped tower tapering towards the top, on top of which is a stylized red flame.

In front of it is a 30-meter-high group of three who bear the party emblem, which consists of a hammer, sickle and brush. All around there are other group sculptures that reproduce various symbols on the subjects of industry, harvest, art and so on. The viewing platform can be reached with an express lift.

Triumphal arch

Another well-known structure is the 60-meter-high triumphal arch, also inaugurated in 1982 for Kim Il-sung's 70th birthday. It is three meters higher than its Parisian model , consists of 10,500 granite blocks, a large 27-meter-high arch and cost several million US dollars.

It symbolizes the heroic return of General Kim Il-sung from the victorious struggle to liberate the country from the Japanese. On the outside of the arch there are reliefs, as well as stanzas from the “ Song of General Kim Il-sung ” and the dates 1925 and 1945, which delimit the time of the anti-Japanese liberation struggle.

In addition to the triumphal arch, the Friendship Tower, which was built in 1959 and enlarged in 1984, extends upwards and is supposed to symbolize the friendship between North Korea and the People's Republic of China .

Ryugyŏng Hotel

The Ryugyŏng Hotel was to become the tallest hotel and one of the tallest buildings in the world when completed. The shell has 105 floors (tapering towards the top) at a height of 330 meters.

Since the start of construction, only the concrete scaffolding has been completed in its full height. The hotel is one of a series of magnificent buildings that Kim Il-sung , father of the late North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il , had planned and built since 1987.

The hotel should be completed by the 1989 World Festival . However, the date was postponed due to structural and financial problems. In 1992 the construction work was canceled. Since then, the building has been in ruins for years in the city.

In 2008, the Egyptian conglomerate Orascom Group began further construction, which should be completed by 2012. The hotel company Kempinski announced in November 2012 that it would open a hotel in the top part of the building in July or August 2013, initially with 150 rooms, which is to be gradually expanded. This plan has since been put back on file.

Pagodas and pavilions

The city's pagodas and pavilions are well worth seeing: the seven-story pagoda, the Ulmil pavilion (named after General Umil from the anti-Japanese resistance), the Choesung pavilion as a former observation post of the Korean People's Army , the Pubyok pavilion with a view of the Taedong River and the Chongnyu Pavilion as the remainder of the old outer city walls.

Another historical legacy of the city wall is the Ryongwang Pavilion, which is located directly on the Taedong River and offers a beautiful view. It was built in 1111, destroyed again and rebuilt in its present form in 1670.

Historic burial sites

The mausoleum of King Tongmyŏng (also called Kochumong ) is located 25 km east of the city center. It was built in the early 5th century. Its reconstruction was completed on May 14, 1993.

38 km northeast of the city center, in the district of Kangdong-gun, which belongs to the urban area, there is a facility which the North Korean state represents as the mausoleum of Dangun - a being of heavenly and animal descent and the main figure of the national figure established under the modern Joseon dynasty and still influential today Founding myth dating from 2333 BC Founded a first Korean state ( Go-Joseon ) and is said to have ruled it for almost 2000 years. In 1994 the "reconstruction" of the alleged burial site was completed. The complex covers an area of ​​45 hectares. In the center is a 50 meter high white pyramid, in which the burial chamber of Dangun and his wife is said to be. A 40-meter-wide white staircase leads up to the pyramid in two stages, and is lined with statues depicting Tangun's sons and some of his court officials.

Other structures

Historically interesting are the Pothong Gate and the Taedong Gate , remnants of the city wall from the middle of the 6th century. The Taedong Gate was rebuilt in 1635 and contains a large bronze bell. Another bronze bell is located on the banks of the Taedong River. It is bell Pyongyang called and hung originally on Taedongmun, but has been destroyed by a fire in the 1714th The current bell was remade in 1726. It is 3.1 meters high and weighs 13 tons. Until 1890 it was used as a signaling device for the people of Pyongyang when danger threatened.

The city's landmarks are also the Pyongyang television tower , on the outskirts with a viewing platform at a height of 94 to 101 meters, and the Liberation Tower, built in 1946 to commemorate the support of the Soviet army in the struggle for independence against Japan, and the 46-meter-high Ch'ŏllima statue . The figure of a winged horse, standing on a 32-meter-high stone pedestal and carrying a woman and a man, depicts the rapid reconstruction of the country after the Korean War and the achievements that went with it. It was celebrated on April 15, 1961 for the 49th birthday of the head of state revealed. The symbol shown goes back to a Korean legend of a horse that can cover up to 1000  Ri (Korean length, 1 Ri corresponds to approx. 390 m) in one day.

In the city center there is a monument in honor of the founding of the party, which was unveiled on October 10, 1975 to mark the 30th anniversary. Nearby is the monument to the fallen soldiers of the People's Army, erected in 1959 and 24 meters high.

In the west of the city is the memorial for the patriotic liberation struggle , which was only built in 1993 for the 40th anniversary of the same. The 150,000 square meter area is entered through a monumental gate with various bronze reliefs that deal with the theme of “victory” in various variations. On the site you can see more than ten themed sculptures, individual depictions of warriors in heroic poses and chiseled lettering by Kim Il Sung.

Behind the university, in the north of the city, is the Kumsusan Palace , the mausoleum of Kim Il Sung. The embalmed corpse is laid out there and can also be viewed by foreign visitors on certain days, provided that this is reported in good time. International gifts are exhibited in the adjoining rooms, including the deceased's official car, a Mercedes with a party emblem.

The first five-star hotel in the country is set to be Y sollnggwang Hot'el in the city center, but construction has been on hold since 2013. Pot'onggang Hot'el was built in the 1970s.

The Mirim Dam is on the eastern edge of the city .


Pagoda near Pyongyang

At the foot of the Moran Hill is a playground, the Moranbong Youth Park, with entertainment options as well as several lotus ponds and water-donating fountains. Numerous propaganda sculptures can be seen in Jogak Park, and facilities such as the Folk Art Museum and several restaurants can be found there.

The Ssuk Island, located in the Taedong River, mainly serves as a green oasis and recreational area for the residents of Pyongyang. It can be reached by ferry and is the location of the Ssuk-sŏm Historical Revolutionary Memorial . The leisure area on Ssuk Island is equipped with a swimming pool, a beach, a wrestling ring, a dance hall and a playground. The Palace of Science and Technology was inaugurated here in early 2016 .

In the northeast of Pyongyang, on the Taesong Mountains, lies the cemetery of the revolutionary heroes . It covers an area of ​​30 hectares on the Jujan hill. In the center of the Heroes Cemetery is an 11 m high red flag made of granite. All around are tombs with busts of so-called “martyrs of the revolution”. From the memorial, which is 1,400 m high according to official information, one can overlook the entire city area. The Korea Central Zoo is in the neighborhood .


The May Day
Stadium is the largest football and athletics stadium in the world.

In the north of Pyongyang, around the Moran Hill, very close to the Triumphal Arch, there is the Kim Il sung Stadium with a capacity of 70,000 people. It was the home of Pyongyang FC from 1933 until it was dissolved in the 1950s . A public recreational area was located here shortly after the liberation, and a first version of the stadium was built as early as the late 1940s, but destroyed in the Korean War. After the war a new stadium was built, redesigned and enlarged in 1982.

On the island Rungnado in Taedong 1989 was Stadium May Day (Rungnado-May-Day Stadium) was completed. With 150,000 seats, an area of ​​22,500 square meters and a height of 60 meters, it is the tenth largest sports stadium as well as the largest football and athletics stadium in the world. The sports arena houses training halls, recreation rooms, a swimming pool, living and dining room, transmission and control rooms, telex devices and a rubber racetrack several hundred meters long. In 1995 the wrestling event " Collision in Korea " was held here.

In the west of the city is the indoor stadium Pyongyang, completed in 1973. A striking building with a conical roof for 20,000 spectators, next to the stadium, is the Pyongyang ice rink , which opened in 1982 and has an area of ​​more than 25,000 square meters. The ice rink holds around 6,000 people. The nearby Changgwang Health Center - it has a capacity of 16,000 people - also hosts swimming competitions.

Other sports arenas in Pyongyang are the Moranbong Stadium opened in 1982 with a capacity for 70,000 spectators, the Yanggakdo Stadium completed in 1989 for 30,000 people, the Seosan Stadium (capacity for 25,000 spectators) and the Pyongyang Arena, opened in 2003 (capacity for 12,000 spectators) .

The DPRK Amateur Golf Open has been held at the Pyongyang Golf Complex since 2011 .

Munsu Water Park opened in November 2013 .


Grocery store for foreigners

There is practically no night life. But slowly some restaurants are emerging where there until 23 o'clock Karaoke is. Traditional Korean dishes are served, especially noodles, but also rice dishes such as sinsŏllo or rice cakes.

Fish , squid , various seafood and seaweed are also on the table. Meat is rarely eaten. If there is meat, it is mainly beef and pork, always chopped up and either grilled or pan-fried.

In addition to kimchi, there are Chinese cabbage, radish and other vegetables. Soy quark ( tofu ) and Korean soy sauce are also served.

Chinese food is available in some restaurants in Pyongyang . A restaurant on Kwangbok Street specializes in Italian cuisine.

Economy and Infrastructure


Changgwang Street

Pyongyang is the industrial center of the country, in which, among other things, metal, textile, electronics and food industries as well as mechanical engineering are located. At the beginning of the 1990s, the capital's economy was hit hard by the loss of almost all traditional trading partners. Trading was now based on dollars. The result was a decline in total industrial production of up to five percent per year to an almost complete standstill around the year 2000.

According to western estimates, more than half of the factories had to be shut down, some sources speak of up to 90 percent. The economy is currently at subsistence level . In addition to the collapsed state supply system, there is also foreign aid, the distribution of which is monitored by the UN and various non-profit organizations.

The power supply Pyongyang comes from water and thermal power plants such as the power plant Pukchang . Since these works do not always work, the power supply is rationed. This means that it is mostly dark in Pyongyang in the evening. Certain facilities such as the diplomatic quarter, government and important administrative buildings, foreigner hotels, the quarters of the Korean People's Army and the monuments in honor of Kim Il-sung that are illuminated at night have their own power supply.

The city is centrally heated by a very large coal-fired power station . Due to the favorable location in the northeast, the residents of Pyongyang are spared air pollution . The wind drives the sooty fuel dust out of town over the hills. The district heating is done with considerable energy losses through an underground piping system to the houses. One problem is that enough coal cannot always be delivered on time. The residents of the cold apartments make do with small all-purpose stoves, which is one of the reasons that parts of the Pyongyang area are cleared and bare.

Numerous joint ventures such as Cheo Technology , Hana Electronics , Phyongun Jungsong , Taedonggang Brewing Company and Nosotek have their headquarters in Pyongyang. There are also many markets with relatively free trading of different sizes, such as B. the T'ongil market . Department store No. 1 on Sungri Street has been in the city center since 1982 . The Central Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is located in the city center.


All four highways in North Korea lead to Pyongyang. The Pyongyang-Kaesŏng Expressway leads directly to the border with South Korea and the Pyongyang-Wŏnsan Expressway leads to the Sea of ​​Japan . The Pyongyang-Sinŭiju expressway , which is currently under construction , will provide a connection to China in the future . The number of registered cars has increased relatively sharply in recent years. Taxis have also been running for some time .

Tram railcar around 1930 on Yamatomachi Street (today Taehaksupdang Street)
Tram cars

On May 20, 1923, during the Japanese colonial period, the first electric tram was opened. It replaced an older horse-drawn tram . By 1933 the network had grown to a length of 14 kilometers. During the Korean War (1950–1953), the tram ceased operations. An electric tram has been in operation in Pyongyang again since April 15, 1991 . In the following years, the network was expanded to a length of 53 kilometers.


In addition to diesel-powered buses, trolleybuses have been running in Pyongyang since April 30, 1962 . An international airport , Sunan International Airport , is about 30 kilometers north of Pyongyang. From Pyongyang Central Station there are rail connections to Beijing and twice a month to Moscow. The distance to Moscow measures 10,272 km and is 984 km longer than the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok (9,288 km). The S desp'yŏngyang (Pyongyang West) marshalling yard is located northwest of the main train station . In future there will be a high-speed train on the Pyongyang – Sinŭiju railway line . The Korean State Railway has its headquarters in the main train station.

Metro Pyongyang with former Berlin subway cars

On September 6, 1973, the first section of the Pyongyang subway was opened. Today there are two lines with a length of 22.5 kilometers. The Pyongyang Metro was the first metro on the Korean Peninsula. Construction of the system began in 1968. A serious accident occurred during construction in a tunnel under the Taesong River. According to some sources, more than 100 workers were killed. This section was never completed and the entire subway network is now on the western side of the river.

The route network runs completely underground and the lines were modeled on the metro networks in other communist countries, especially the Moscow metro . Both routes have a lot in common, including the course at great depth and the large distances between the stations. The walls of the stations are adorned with chandeliers and paintings of Socialist Realism . In the 1990s, 120 type D cars were shipped from Berlin to North Korea, where they will be used on the Pyongyang subway lines.

In times of war, the underground stations should be able to be used as protective bunkers. Large steel gates are installed for this purpose. However, this security concept is prone to water ingress. According to speculation, large military installations are connected to the stations. According to other speculations, in addition to the two official lines, there are also an unknown number of secret lines for military and government purposes.

The districts north and south of Taedong-gang are connected with six road bridges, the Chungsong Bridge , the Yanggak Bridge , the Taedong Bridge , the Okryu Bridge , the Rungna Bridge and the Chongnyu Bridge .


Youngsters train for a march on Kim Il sung Square. In the background the Chuch'e Tower.

The city is the seat of the Korean Central News Agency . This is the central state news agency of North Korea and has the task of disseminating announcements of the Party of Labor of Korea (PdAK, the communist state party of North Korea) and the government of North Korea. It was founded on December 5, 1946 in Pyongyang.

In Pyongyang the Rodong Sinmun ("workers newspaper") appears. It is the organ of the Central Committee of the Labor Party of Korea. It is published by the Rodong News Agency and is the most widely read newspaper in North Korea.

Newspapers in English and French are Foreign Trade of the DPRK , Korea Today , The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and The Pyongyang Times . Like all North Korean media, they carry the official propaganda of the communist government.

Based in the capital have the State Committee for Radio and Television, the Korean Central Television , the Korean Central Broadcasting , FM stations P'yŏngyang FM Pangsong and the foreign service Voice of Korea and Radio Pyongyang . The Voice of Korea broadcasts radio programs in various languages, including German and English. Until 2002, the station was part of Radio Pyongyang, which today only produces programs in Korean. It is broadcast on short wave frequencies as well as on medium wave .

Pyongyang is essentially cut off from the global Internet . The top-level domain .kp (" K orea - P eople’s Republic") is largely inactive. Most of the official websites are hosted abroad. It can be assumed that parts of the nomenklatura will be granted access to the global Internet, because a number of official bodies as well as government employees, tourist guides and students with whom Western visitors are allowed to converse have e-mail addresses from Chinese providers, which also include the West are accessible.

The capital is to be connected to a nationwide intranet , which mainly connects authorities and ministries. In the Great People's Study Hall, western visitors can watch students chatting over this intranet. The extent to which it can also be used for civil purposes is unknown.


Pyongyang is home to several higher education institutions, including Kim Il-sung University , Kim-Ch'aek Technical University, and several scientific academies. The central library is also located in the city.

In the north of the city is the Kim Il-sung University, which opened in October 1946. The site features several tall buildings, a bronze statue of the university donor Kim Il-sung, and a number of relics from the academic years of Kim Jong-il, who graduated from his father's university. On average, according to official figures, around 12,000 students are enrolled, who are taught in various subjects of industrial research, medicine, architecture, agriculture and political ideology.

The Great People's Study Hall, which opened in 1982, is a library built in a harmonious traditional-modern architecture. The total area covers 100,000 square meters, above which there are 34 Korean-style roofs with green shingles. According to official statements, 30 million books are stored in the study hall.

On June 2, 2004, a reading room at the Goethe Institute in Pyongyang was opened. In addition to German literature, the holdings mainly included practical specialist books from medicine to civil engineering. In addition, German magazines and newspapers should be freely accessible there. The extent to which the North Korean population was actually able to accept this offer is, however, controversial. In November 2009, the reading room was closed again due to breaches of contract on the part of North Korea after the government banned the display of some magazines and newspapers.

A Palace of Science and Technology is currently being built on the island of Ssuk-sŏm .

sons and daughters of the town


Web links

Commons : Pyongyang  - album containing pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Pyongyang  travel guide
Wiktionary: Pyongyang  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Pyongyang is common in English-speaking countries.
  2. Pyongyang is an alternative spelling that is closer to pronunciation, as used, for example, by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung .

Individual evidence

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  2. North Korea: The largest cities in 2018. In: Statista . UN DESA, accessed November 22, 2019 .
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  4. 평양 (平壤 市). In: NK Chosun. October 2, 2013, accessed August 17, 2020 (Korean).
  5. Pyongyang now more than one-third smaller; food shortage issues suspected. In: Asahi Shimbun . July 17, 2010, archived from the original on January 8, 2014 ; accessed on November 22, 2019 (English).
  6. ^ N. Korea incorporates key farming county into Pyongyang. In: Yonhap . February 29, 2012, accessed November 22, 2019 .
  7. Philipp Meuser (ed.): Architectural Guide Pjöngjang , DOM publishers, 2011, Volume 1, Page 8, ISBN 978-3-86922-126-7
  8. ^ World Weather Information Service
  10. Philipp Meuser: Architectural Guide Pyongyang , DOM publishers, 2011, Volume 2, ISBN 978-3-86922-126-7 , p. 89
  11. George Trumbull Ladd: In Korea with Marquis Ito , Elibron Classics, 2002, Replica of 1908 edition by Logmans, Green & Co., London, ISBN 1-4021-9030-1
  12. North Korea. Bertelsmann Foundation
  13. ^ Jan Lahmeyer, Utrecht University: Populstat: North Korea - Urban Population
  14. ^ First China-DPRK sister cities meeting held in Pyongyang. In: People's Daily Online , May 12, 2009
  15. ^ Arno Maierbrugger: North Korea Handbook. On the move in a mysterious land. 2nd, updated and expanded edition: Trescher Verlag, Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3-89794-114-4 . P. 121 f.
  16. Rodong Sinmun, March 14, 2012
  17. ^ National Tourism Administration (Ed.): Korea Tour. DPR Korea. A Land of Morning Calm. A Land of Attractions. Pyongyang Juche 86 (1997). P. 30.
  18. Los Angeles Times: North Korea in the midst of a mysterious building boom , September 27, 2008
  19. Report on the Kempinski plans on (English)
  20. ^ National Tourism Administration (Ed.): Korea Tour. DPR Korea. A Land of Morning Calm. A Land of Attractions. Pyongyang Juche 86 (1997). P. 34.
  21. ^ National Tourism Administration (Ed.): Korea Tour. DPR Korea. A Land of Morning Calm. A Land of Attractions. Pyongyang Juche 86 (1997). P. 33.
  22. The largest stadiums in the world. In:
  23. Italian restaurant. In:
  24. ^ Trams in Korea. In:
  25. ^ Trams and trolleybuses in Pyongyang. In:
  26. ^ Moscow – Pyongyang railway line. ( Memento of July 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) In: , accessed on September 15, 2012 (Russian)
  27. Park Hyun Min: Pyongyang Subway Submerged in Water , in: Daily NK, August 20, 2007, accessed April 15, 2020
  28. The pomp in the North Korean underground , in: of April 18, 2016, accessed on April 15, 2020
  29. ^ Sue Lloyd-Roberts: Life inside the North Korean bubble. In: , June 1, 2010, accessed October 12, 2010
  30. Goethe-Institut closes reading room in Pyongyang. In: Tagesspiegel , November 26, 2009, accessed on November 23, 2010
  31. Selected in Pyongyang? In: Deutsche Welle , April 16, 2010, accessed on November 23, 2010
  32. The Palace of Science and Technology on Ssuk Island - North Korea Information. Retrieved August 16, 2020 .

Coordinates: 39 ° 1 ′ 48 ″  N , 125 ° 43 ′ 48 ″  E