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More information about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is available on the North Korea country page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


Peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula is the ultimate goal for the United States in its relationship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The United States works closely with allies and partners in the region towards greater peace and security in the region.

U.S. Assistance to DPRK

In the past, the United States provided food and other emergency aid to the DPRK during times of famine and natural disasters, upon request by the DPRK. The United States does not currently provide any aid to the DPRK government. A number of U.S. NGOs have been active in the DPRK, through private and faith-based donor support, to provide aid to fight infectious diseases such as multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and to improve farming practices and agricultural output in rural areas.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States imposed a near total economic embargo on the DPRK in 1950 after the DPRK attacked the South, sparking the Korean war. Over the following years, some U.S. sanctions were eased, but others were imposed. Executive Order 13810 was issued on September 21, 2017, in the wake of the DPRK’s September 2017 nuclear test and multiple intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests. Combined with previous executive orders, statutory sanctions provisions, and other restrictions on the DPRK, these constitute some of the most restrictive sanctions related to the DPRK to date.

DPRK’s Membership in International Organizations

The DPRK and the United States belong to some of the same international organizations and multilateral institutions, including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.

Bilateral Representation

The United States and the DPRK do not have diplomatic relations. The Swedish Embassy in the DPRK is the U.S. protecting power and provides limited consular services to U.S. citizens. The DPRK has no embassy in Washington, DC, but it is represented in the United States through its mission to the United Nations in New York.

More information about North Korea is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

CIA World Factbook North Korea Page 
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics 
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page 
Library of Congress Country Studies 
Travel Information

U.S. Department of State

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