White Paper on North Korean Geography: Humanities, Nature, Environment

The First Academic Book on North Korean Geography, Including the Humanities, Nature, and Environment of North Korea

Though North Korea influences much of our lives, the apathy and cynicism toward North Korea aggravate day by day. This is because there is a lack of information on North Korea, and because the information is biased toward politics and the economy. Thus the information on North Korea that we access lacks any geographical context, leading to our inability to connect the problems of North Korea to our daily lives. Therefore there should be efforts to expand geographical information on North Korea and to understand the existing information in a geographical context.

This book was planned to provide information to overcome the lack of awareness of North Korea and present a methodology to enhance the lack of spatial information on North Korea. Thus the book aims to improve the geographical context, which was absent in the knowledge on North Korea so that we can better understand the other half of the Korean peninsula. To achieve this, experts on North Korea came together so that 13 chapters on the administrative regions and place names of North Korea as well as its topography and geology, climate, vegetation, natural ecosystem, economy and industry, and traffic infrastructure are all included in one volume. The book sought to not only simply provide geographical information on North Korea but to present the methodologies to produce and study the geographical information on North Korea, by presenting the basic concepts and methodologies to understand the geographical information, including the current situations and information related to those, and providing further readings.

There may be many different opinions on how North Korea will change, whether unification could be achieved and if this would be positive for all of us. Yet, it would be hard to deny the goal that both North and South Koreas should maintain peace and pursue the prosperity of the Korean peninsula economically and socially. To take a step future toward peace and prosperity of the land we stand on, we need further geographical thinking and knowledge on North Korea. That is the reason that this book, as the first professional book on North Korean geography, is expected to be the starting point for us to take the road to cooperation and prosperity between North and South Korea.



Authors and Editors

SooJin Park

Professor at Dept. of Geography and Director of SNUAC at Seoul National University
Prof. Park has conducted research on the environmental issues of East Asia based on soil geography, environmental geography, development of emerging economies, and index system analysis, and recently has won the 29th Best Paper Awards from KOFST (The Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies) with “A Method for Predicting Soil Types in North Korea: Importance of North Korea Soil Properties and Prediction Soil Types” (Journal of the Korean Geographical Society 53(5)).

Yoosoon An

Ph.D. candidate at Dept. of Geography, Seoul National University. He is currently conducting research on North Korea’s land degradation and the food crisis of the 1990s based on environmental geography, social-ecological system, and agent-based model.



Woo Seok Kong_Prof., Dept. of Geography, Kyunghee University

Kihyuk Kim_Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of Geography Education, Pusan National University

Younghoon Kim_Senior Researcher, Korea Rural Economic Institute

Soojeong Myeong_Senior Researcher, Korea Environment Institute

SooJin Park_Prof., Dept. of Geography, Seoul National University

Sung Hee Shin_Expert at Heritage Conservation Bureau, Cultural Heritage Administration, and Researcher at Gyeonggi Research Institute

Yoosoon An_Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Geography, Seoul National University

Gwang-ryul Lee_Prof., Dept. of Geography Education, Kyungpook National University

Bok Nam Lee_Professor for Industry Collaboration Purpose, Institute of Construction and Environmental Engineering, Seoul National University

Eungul Lee_Prof., Dept. of Geography, Kyunghee University

Jeong Hoon Lee_Director, Center for Peace & Border Studies, Gyeonggi Research Institute

Hoonchong Yi_Researcher, Institute for Korean Regional Studies, Seoul National University

Jongseo Yim_Specialized Researcher, Marine Policy Research Division, Korea Maritime Institute

Suk Hwan Chang_Prof., Dept. of Civil Engineering, Daejin University

Chung-hee Cho_Researcher at Good Farmers