North Korean passport

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Democratic People's Republic
of Korea passport
DPRK passport.png
Date first issued1950s
Issued byNorth Korea Immigration Bureau of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Type of documentPassport
Eligibility requirementsNorth Korean citizenship
ExpirationOrdinary - expires upon return to North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea passport is the passport which may be issued to citizens of North Korea, for international travel. Since the majority of North Koreans do not get opportunities to leave their country, DPRK passports are rarely issued.[1]


North Korean passports were first issued in the 1950s with passport in Korean, Russian and Chinese, while the current passport has Korean and English only.[2]

Physical appearance[edit]

DPRK passport covers are navy blue with the National Emblem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea emblazoned in the center. The words "조선민주주의인민공화국" (Korean) and "DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA" (English) are inscribed above the emblem, with "려권" and "PASSPORT" below. 려권 (lyeogwon), means "passport", whilst in the South Korean passport, it is branded 여권 (yeogwon), which also means passport. Both words are Sino-Korean words written as 旅券 in Hanja, but due to the initial sound rule present only in South Korea, they are spelled differently.

Passport types[edit]

North Korean Emergency Passport.
This passport was issued before North Korea and South Korea were formed
  • An ordinary passport is a single passport which, after being granted special permission, is handed out to North Koreans, who visit foreign countries for official reasons, i.e., professional, sports, academic competitions, business trips. Ordinary passports are withdrawn by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after travel. Cover is navy blue.
  • An official passport is issued for trade and other economic bureaucrats travelling abroad. Cover is green.
  • A diplomatic passport is issued to high officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, and other subordinate offices of the Workers' Party of Korea. For other bureaucrats, only vice ministers or higher can receive a diplomatic passport. Cover is red.

The official passport and diplomatic passport must be returned and kept in the passport office, from where it can be retrieved for any further foreign travel. Ordinary passports are never issued without special permission and all holders must apply for an exit visa in order to leave the country.

Identity pages[edit]

A DPRK Passport includes two identity pages. The first identifies the holder, and includes the following information:

  • 1. Passport number
  • 2. Name in full (in English and in Korean)
  • 3. Date of birth (YY-MM-DD)
  • 4. Place of birth
  • 5. Nationality (specified as "Korean")
  • 6. Length of the passport validity (five years)
  • 7. Expiry date (YY-MM-DD)
  • 8. Issue date (YY-MM-DD)

The second page is for official endorsements.

Note of passport[edit]

The passport contains the following note:


이 려권소지자는 조선민주주의인민공화국의 보호를 받습니다. 이 려권소지자를 지장없이 통과시켜 주며 그에게 필요한 편의와 보호를 베풀어 줄것을 모든 관계자들에게 요청하는 바입니다.


The holder of this passport is under the protection of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. All those whom it may concern are hereby requested to allow the holder to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the holder with assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Visa requirements for North Korean citizens
  North Korea
  Visa free access
  Visa on arrival
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required

Inter-Korea travel[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fyodor Tertitskiy (December 29, 2014). "North Korea's passports, and how they use them". NK News. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  2. ^ "North Korea's passports, and how they use them | NK News - North Korea News". December 29, 2014.

External links[edit]