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Democratic People's Republic
of Korea passport
A biometric DPRK passport for public affairs
Issued byNorth Korea Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Japan General Association of Korean Residents in Japan
First issued1950s (first version)
2016 (biometric passport)
EligibilityNorth Korean citizenship
Expiration5 years

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


The earliest passports of the Korean Peninsula were issued in 1902 by the Korean Empire, with two types, a trading passport and a travel passport. The passports have Korean Hanja text as well as English and French translations.

North Korean passports were first issued in the 1950s with Korean (Chosŏn'gŭl), Russian and Chinese (traditional script) texts, while the current[when?] passport has Korean (Chosŏn'gŭl) and English only.[2]

In 2016, North Korea began issuing biometric passports complying to the ICAO 9303 standard.

The Korean Empire's travel passport issued in 1905.

Physical appearance

DPRK passport covers are navy blue with the Emblem of North Korea emblazoned in the center. The official name of the country "조선민주주의인민공화국" and "DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA" are inscribed above the emblem, with "려권" (ryŏgwon) and "PASSPORT" below.

Difference with South Korean passport

In North Korea, the Korean word for "passport" is spelled "려권" (ryeogwon), whereas in South Korea, the same word is written as "여권" (yeogwon) due to the initial sound rule (in hanja, 旅券).

Passport types

Official and diplomatic passports 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 legally leave the country. [citation needed]

Identity pages

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

The second page is for official endorsements.

Note of passport

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
  Visa issued upon arrival
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required prior to arrival

Inter-Korea travel

Main article: South Korean passport § Inter-Korean travel


See also


  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". North Korea News. December 29, 2014.