Population: 3,255,388 (2008 estimate)
Land Area: 1,233 square miles (3,194 sq km)
Average Elevation: 89 feet (27 m)
Pyongyang is the capital and largest city in North Korea. It is located in the central part of the country and it is about 30 miles (48 km) east of the Korea Bay which is a portion of the Yellow Sea. Pyongyang is considered a directly-governed city and as such, its status is similar to that of a province. As a directly-governed city, there is no provincial government that controls it, rather control comes directly from the federal government. This is similar to Beijing, which is considered one of four direct-controlled municipalities in China as well as Seoul in South Korea.
The following is a list of ten other important facts to know about Pyongyang, North Korea:
1) It is believed that people have inhabited the Pyongyang region of North Korea since prehistoric times. This is due to evidence of an ancient village that was found in the area in 1955. At several excavation sites, archeologists found materials from the Jeulmun and Mumun pottery periods which date back to 8000 B.C.E.
2) The Pyongyang area underwent several name changes in its early history and it was also controlled by several different rulers. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Pyongyang was called Nanglang state and it served as the capital of this state until it was destroyed in 313 by the Koguryeo - an ancient kingdom on the Korean Peninsula.
3) In 427, the Koguryeo again made the Pyongyang region its capital. During the 7th century however, the Koguryeo were conquered by the Tang Chinese and the Silla. During the Joseon Dynasty, Pyongyang was the capital of the P'yongan Province and in 1896, it became the provincial capital of the South P'yongan Province.
4) Beginning in 1910, Korea became controlled by Japan during its expansion. This control lasted until 1945 when Japan was defeated in World War II. In that same year, Pyongyang became occupied by the Soviet Union. In 1948 it became the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Shortly thereafter it was occupied by South Korea and damaged aerial raids during the Korean War. At the end of the war however, Pyongyang was quickly rebuilt and today it is a large metropolitan area.
5) Following the Korean War, much of Pyongyang had to be rebuilt and as such, the city today has large monuments, huge buildings and wide streets. The Ryugyong Hotel will be the largest in the city once it is completed (which is projected for 2012). It will have over 100 floors and is being constructed in the monolithic architectural fashion that is common in Pyongyang (image).
6) The city of Pyongyang is located in the west to central part of North Korea about 30 miles (48 km) from Korea Bay (map). It covers an area of 1,233 square miles (3,194 sq km) and has a population density of 2,640 people per square mile (1,019 people per sq km). Pyongyang is built along the Taedong River and as such most of the city is very flat - its average elevation is 89 feet (27 m).
7) Pyongyang's climate is considered humid continental. During the winter, much of its weather comes from Siberia so it is very cold and dry. Summers are usually hot and humid and the East Asian monsoon dominates its weather during that time. The average January low temperature for Pyongyang is 13˚F (-11˚C) and the average August high 84˚F (29˚C).
8) Because it is a large city, Pyongyang is divided into administrative divisions called wards. There are 19 in the city as well as four counties.
9) Pyongyang is the largest city and cultural center of North Korea. As such, it has a unique food culture that is mainly derived from the Pyongan province. Many of the city's most famous foods are soups and rice dishes.
10) Pyongyang has four sister cities. They are Kathmandu, Nepal, Jakarta, Indonesia, Moscow, Russia and Chiang Mai Province in Thailand.
Wikipedia.org. (27 November 2010). Pyongyang - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyongyang
Wikipedia.org. (13 November 2010). Special Cities of Korea - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_cities_of_Korea