North Korea Wildlife and Economy

By | June 30, 2021

Animals and Plants

What is growing in North Korea?

There is a lot of forest in North Korea. More than 60 percent of the country’s area are forest areas, mostly mixed forests with oak, beech, maple and birch, trees that you can also find here. If you go up, you will also find many conifers such as firs, spruces or pines. If you go even higher, you will discover so-called subalpine plants.

Many areas in North Korea were cleared, so the forests were cut down and the original vegetation had to give way to agricultural use. Other trees found in North Korea are cedar, cypress, poplar, willow and various types of holly. But of course there are not only trees in North Korea, but also flowers and other plants. Japanese camellias, laurel and privet can be found as well as stone root, rush and bamboo grass. Hydrangeas, rhododendrons, lilacs, roses, as well as asters and peonies bloom. And since 1991 the magnolia has been the country’s national plant.

Medicinal plants

As everywhere in Asia, there are many valuable medicinal plants that are used in medicine. This includes the ginkgo tree with its fruits. A healing effect is ascribed to this. The aim is to strengthen the memory and improve learning performance.

The gingeng plant is also considered a medicinal plant. This plant is also said to increase performance and also strengthen the body’s defense system. The medicinal plant is also used for respiratory diseases or heart problems. However, one must be very careful with the dosage when taking it. Many of the plants that grow in North Korea are actually native to Japan or China.

Which animals live in North Korea?

The animal world also resembles ours. In the forests you will find red deer such as roe deer and stags, as well as foxes and wild boars. Since the mountains are sparsely populated, bears and wolves can also retreat here. And since we are in Asia, tigers and leopards also live here. The Amur tiger grows up to 2.80 meters long and up to 1.10 meters high and is the wildcat that is most threatened. Leopards are only found in very remote areas of the country.

The bird life of North Korea

According to findjobdescriptions, many birds live in North Korea. Cranes and pigeons as well as other water birds occur. A protected species is the Tristram’s woodpecker, which can be recognized by its black and white coloring.

North Korea Wildlife



Since North Korea is very mountainous, only a few parts of the country can be used for agriculture. Yet many people make a living from agriculture, even if most Koreans live in the cities and work in factories. There is not enough food, which is a big problem for North Korea. Serious natural disasters repeatedly shake the country and destroy the harvest. North Korea is a planned economy, which means that there are always plans for a specific period of time as to how the economy should generate income.

What is grown?

Rice is the most important source of nutrition for the population. Corn, potatoes, soy and various legumes are also grown. North Korea exports minerals and metal products, as well as fishery products. Since the military plays an important role, armaments products are also exported. Most of the goods go to South Korea, China and Japan. North Koreans also work in the Russian Far East, the region in the very east of Russia.


For a long time, North Korea was dependent on outside food aid. Some North Koreans are now self-sufficient. They grow something to eat wherever possible. This then also happens in window boxes. They then sell their harvest in small markets. The government does not like to see this, but it is now well tolerated.

Dependent on support

After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and especially the Soviet Union, North Korea had to forego support from this side. The closest ties today exist with China, which is also closest to North Korea in foreign policy. Much of the goods sold in North Korea come from China. Raw materials are also imported from China. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China has also been Pyongyang’s only political ally.