Democratic People's Republic of Korea passport

Democratic People's Republic
of Korea passport
Date first issued 1950s
Issued by  North Korea Immigration Bureau of the DPRK
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements North Korean citizenship
Expiration Ordinary - expires upon return to North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea passport is the passport which may be issued to citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as 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 three languages - Korean, Russian and Chinese, while the current passport has Korean and English only.[2]

Physical appearance

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

  • 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 Ordinary passports are withdrawn by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after travel.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

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

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.

See also


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