Is North Korea Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
North Korea
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 61 / 100 based on 56 user reviews.

North Korea, officially referred to as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a country located in East Asia covering the northern half of the Korean Peninsula that is situated between Korea Bay and the East Sea.

It shares its borders with China to the north, Russia to the northeast, and South Korea to the south.

This country is under a totalitarian dictatorship and after its complicated history, travelers generally are skeptical when it comes to visiting this country.

Tourists that do travel to North Korea will be immediately met by a tour guide from a local state-owned travel company who will decide what they can and cannot see.

Traveling independently isn’t possible, and you can see North Korea only as part of a guided tour.

When traveling to this county, your movements, freedom, and behavior will be severely limited.

As soon as you step out on the street, you will be accompanied by one or more guides.

Usually, the sightseeing is limited to war memorials, monuments to the Great Leader and the Workers Party of Korea, and war-related museums.

Another popular landmark for tourists is The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Warnings & Dangers in North Korea

Overall Risk


Generally speaking, North Korea isn't safe and some governments advise their citizens against traveling to this country. If you're already in North Korea and if you don't abide by its strict rules, you can be faced with imprisonment, torture, and death.

Transport & Taxis Risk


The fact that all your traveling is completely controlled by the state is also helpful when it comes to transport, as all your transport needs will be dealt with by your tour company. Using any other form of local public transport is generally impossible.

Pickpockets Risk


The good thing in North Korea is that the crime levels are close to zero. There is no petty crime on the streets at least to tourists, and as it's been said, there is no individual traveling in North Korea either way, so your risks of having an experience with a pickpocket are close to none.

Natural Disasters Risk


The biggest natural threats for North Korea are devastating floods. Typhoons have also been known to cause damage. In 2002, a flood occurred that killed 170 people and left 84,000 homeless.

Mugging Risk


The same goes for violent crimes, like muggings, robberies, and kidnappings. Even the nightlife in Pyongyang is extremely safe and non-violent.

Terrorism Risk


There haven't been recent terrorist attacks in North Korea, but they shouldn't be ruled out, so you should remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scams Risk


There aren't many known scams in North Korea. Generally speaking, ways of crossing over tourists are limited given the fact that traveling independently is impossible in this country and everything is strictly controlled by the state.

Women Travelers Risk


Women are safe when it comes to crime in North Korea, but you should know that if you have any needs as a tourist, or won't help, the assistance from your embassy will be limited and due to strict dictatorship in this country, your actions and behavior here will be limited and in that sense, North Korea can be dangerous.

So... How Safe Is North Korea Really?

North Korea’s history and political situation are complicated and extremely strict, being that this country is under a totalitarian dictatorship.

Due to this and the uncertainty caused by North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program and related tension in the country, some governments strongly discourage traveling to North Korea.

If you go to North Korea and do not abide by its strict laws, be prepared to face imprisonment, torture, and even death.

North Korea and the US have had a complicated history and relationship for decades.

As of September 2017, all American residents with a US passport will not be allowed to travel to North Korea without having special permission from the US State Department.

You should keep in mind all the time that North Korea in general places blames on America for starting the Korean War, and you should, under no circumstances, disagree with that viewpoint as you might get yourself in trouble.

Also, the country is covered in landmines and dotted with minefields so you mustn’t stray from your group as it may have deadly consequences.

Do not take photographs as this is a huge issue in North Korea and only some places are allowed to be photographed, like the “peace village” Panmunjom.

How Does North Korea Compare?

CountrySafety Index
North Korea21

Useful Information



All countries do need a visa in order to enter North Korea, and the visa must be acquired from one of the North Korean diplomatic missions. If you're traveling for tourism, you will also require an authorization from a North Korean travel agency. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.



North Korean Won is the official currency in North Korea. There are no ATMs in this country and credit cards are completely useless here, so make sure to bring lots of cash.



North Korea has a combination of a continental climate and an oceanic climate, characterized by four distinct seasons. For the most part, North Korea has a humid climate, with warm summers and cold winters, without much precipitation.



Pyongyang International Airport, also referred to as the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport is the main airport of North Korea. It is located in the Sunan District, in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to North Korea, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

North Korea Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -5° C
Feb -3° C
Mar 4° C
Apr 12° C
May 18° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 25° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 13° C
Nov 5° C
Dec -3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

57 Reviews on North Korea

  1. L
    Lionheart says:

    Extremely safe when sensible

    It’s ridiculous that, according to this site, North Korea is as dangerous as Libya.

    Yes, North Korea has strict rules with potentially huge consequences for a serious breach of them, but if you stick to them, it’s probably the safest country in the world for tourists. Any incidents are extremely rare and pretty much always result from someone choosing to break the rules in a serious way. The risk from crime and terrorism is practically non-existent.

    I went to North Korea in August 2018 and it’s an amazing experience and surprisingly laid back. The guides will politely tell you if you do anything inappropriate so, as I said above, it takes a really serious breach to get you into trouble with the law.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:


      U support that v evil region? Get lost! NK is bad as south sudan bruh!

      1. Have you even been to North Korea?

        1. Z
          Zendaya says:

          I never been in North Korea but I never going there because it’s a very dangerous country in fact it’s one of the most dangerous countries in the world

      2. S
        Somebody says:

        That’s stereotyping

    2. No thanks

      You obviously didn’t have any objections during your visit to anything they said. “I disagree” could cost you your life. That’s super dangerous. They teach the little kids to hate Americans. I’ll pass. Visiting South Korea will do just fine.

      1. self awareness

        to be fair, we teach little kids to hate north korea.

        1. Different

          It’s different to teach someone to hate the regime and to teach them to hate the people

    3. You’re funny. If North Korea is so nice why do so many people want to leave.

    4. North Korea isn’t safe

      To say North Korea is safe is like saying holding a live rattlesnake is safe. You must have been high to have said this a safe country.

    5. Z
      Zendaya says:

      Don't go there dangerous

      Don’t go to North Korea it’s the most dangerous country ever because the people in North Korea are actually in danger right now because the leader of North Korea it actually making up crazy rules and if you live in North Korea I’m sorry to say but the leader said you need to live there forever oh I would say the rest of your life

    6. Y
      Yunsik pyo says:

      Um ok and try travel to South Korea I guess if you want

  2. T
    The Western world says:

    Tourists have died and been tortured here. Any misstep can get you detained or even killed. Look at Otto Warmbier, Kenneth Bae, Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim, Kim Dong-chul, Alek Sigley, Jeffrey Fowle, John Short, Lim Hyeon-soo, Euna Lee, Laura Ling, and many more. They have camps torturing their own citizens, and for the ones not in camps, their life is grim. Low quality of life with a leader who is cold and calculated, I think it’s best to spend money in a country that actually cares for its people.

    1. off

      because the people didn’t. follow rules cause they are dumb idiots like one guy did

      1. V
        Vichu2005g says:


        U support that v evil region? Get lost! NK is bad as south sudan bruh!

        1. V
          Vichu2006g says:


          U support that v evil region? Get lost! NK is bad as south sudan bruh!

          1. F
            FU Vichu2006g says:

            Vichu2006g loves NK

            You’ve gone absolutely mental if you’re comparing NK to South Sudan bruh!

        2. A
          Anonymous says:

          Saying a country is safe doesnt mean that they support an regime. Get lost.

      2. A
        Anonymous says:

        You mean the guy who did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever? The guy they accused without evidence, releasing some blurred video of someone removing a poster (who clearly wasn’t him)?

        The innocent guy they tortured so much he couldn’t even speak and who was sent back to the US as a living corpse until he died very soon after? No fair trial, no evidence, tortured to death. North Korean ‘justice’.

        That guy?

    2. S
      Samuel Allan says:

      I believe Uganda would be the best option

    3. P
      Police of the World says:

      Dennis Rodman was ok, though.

  3. D
    Dave Johnson says:

    Great Food and Country!

    The McDonald’s there were awesome and the staff there were extremely polite and friendly!

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      There isn’t McDonald’s in north korea.

      1. M
        McDonald's Jong un says:

        There is McDonald's in North Korea

        Yes, there is McDonald’s there.

  4. Amazing

    Excellent, follow the rules in North Korea and you will be fine.

  5. N
    NUclear says:

    Boi is not safe at all

    Is horrible for all the news I read they may start WW3 they are treating US with that Washinton is a good tourist place and with NY if the bombs NK plans to detonate in there there will be no NY an DC and much more in US even parks and don♥9t get me your screaming WHY you are dumb idoit who just goes with everone choices so f yourself, I know my grammar is bad so dela with it and f you who will swear at me.

  6. This page is 100% wrong

    North Korea is safe so why is it so dangerous in this page? Typhoons are rare in NK because of the cold waters offshore.

    1. e
      ethical2012 says:

      Some people 100% don't read.

      Possibly read how the rankings are decided would be a good start for you….. 😉 There are many things considered like gross gdp to military spending etc. That knocks countries down in the list… What do you think they just put a number at random? The page outlines the safety of what would concern you the most… The actual ranking is different in terms…

    2. A
      Anonymous says:


      It is safe when you follow the rules. So why are you saying this page is 100% wrong? Have you been to NK? NK is not letting you guys leave, and if you’re in North Korea then you will need to call the SOS to help you escape that country. NK has laws that are illegal for you to escape the border and then, you will face the imprisonment or the worst punishment. It’s mostly safe when you’re in South Korea or Japan

  7. A
    Anonymous says:

    Not safe at all even if crime is extremely low

    North Korea may seem safe but the fact it is the most brutal dictatorship in the world and the people have faced communist oppression for over 60 years not knowing what the outside world is like except through the eyes of the Kim dynasty the only rich people in North Korea whilst everyone else is poor and afraid of being put in concentration camps for having an opinion what à sad place to live in I feel sorry for the people hopefully one day they get freedom like there southern neighbours but it seems unlikely even China and Russia seem democratic compared to the likes of North Korea….

    1. m
      michael william lockhart says:

      meeting Kim Yo Jong

      “anonymous” how do you know so much NK??? are you a member of the NK communist party??? because if you are not it seems strange that you have so much access to what we are told is very secret! we are told you will get the death penalty for just asking questions! you must have a “charmed” life, or “special dispensation”! Could you get me an invitation to meet Kim Yo Jong ???

    2. Why are you comparing China with NK are u mad

  8. Q
    Qiao Qingsheng Wan Huizhong says:

    Great country very good nice place here👍😃

  9. comical ratings boost

    looking through these comments are funny, i see a bunch of 5 star reviews from what im assuming are North Korean travel agents. “North Korea very good! very nice very safe visit now!”

    1. M
      MMMMMMM says:

      Owning a Bible can get Executed

      North Korean Executed people with a firing squad

      THERE is no freedom

  10. A
    Anonymous says:

    Hermit Kingdom

    It’s safe for Kim Jong Un only.

  11. B
    Buck Breaker says:

    As long as you follow the guidance you’ll find yourself in the safest region on earth, tourist-wise.
    If you are a retarded amerimutt and go through places tearing down posters and pictures then you’ll end up dead for being an uneducated, arrogant swine.

    Also just don’t go there, do not support the regime.

  12. T
    Traveller says:

    Kinda Good

    It Is Good, Idk Why Poeple Rate It So Low, North Korea May Be Ruled By An Extremely Evil Dictator But It Doesnt Mean Travelling There Is Bad, If You Want To Be Safe Stick To The Rules, Done.

  13. For the tourists, it is a perfectly safe country, as long as you follow the rules. Only question is – who would ever go to NK?

  14. A
    Anonymous says:

    how are people suppose to go to north korea

  15. K
    Ken Gee says:

    Picture Looks Appealing

    Seems Safety is close to 5 Stars , No Drugs ,No Guns No Crime , i am not a big Fan of rules so im out .
    City looks super clean and modern , Not sure what all the nonsense is about , My lawyer told me never to Assume anything , The System might be very strict .
    I will never have a problem in North Korea , cause ill never go there . But will be Risking my Life everywhere else i go , cause i like to travel , a dangerous past time .

  16. Fantastic

    It is unsafe to post on here as the NK secret police are monitoring this site. I think NK is really fab and an excellent place for a holiday. Only criminals will find themselves in trouble.

  17. A
    Anonymous says:

    There is no internet in NK so you cannot email and if you use a cell phone you still cannot see who you are talking to. So scammers might call you I think

  18. Bruh. North Korea Is The Most Dangerous Country. The Risk Level Should Be 7, And 21 Is A Bit Too High.

  19. Amazed stay

    North Korea Very Nice.
    Ik like it. Travels nicely, and safe!👍

  20. L
    Lucario says:

    United states citizens are at risk of arrest

    They will arrest you if you are from the united states or south korea. So don’t expect a good welcome. If you think its safe over there you need help.

  21. i
    i travel in nk and saudi arabia says:

    i did travel there and it’s wayyy more safer and better than when i traveled to saudi arabia

  22. R
    Root The Lucario says:

    I’d give this zero stars if i could

    Unless i get an invite saying i can go there i won’t possibly go at all the reason for that is i can be insecure sometimes and i’m a united states citizen as well. If you want to go somewhere try going to italy instead i hear they have great pizza. 21 is too high and very misleading. I don’t care if crime is low. I hear they are also discriminative against people with disabilities such as myself. If i wanted to move to a country i would try moving to switzerland or the Netherlands.

  23. J
    Jean duPont says:

    Great cricket team.

    I hear they have a great cricket team.

  24. Bad

    Hi this a horrible country in to say if you go there and don’t no the rules and you break one I am afraid to say, but you may not come back and what I mean is you want come back alive 👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽🙁🙁☹️☹️🙁😕😕😕😔😔🤯

  25. N
    North korean says:

    best place ever

    I got there for a honeymoon and it was incredible. the macdonalds wa sperfect and Kim himself came to see us. 6 stars

  26. R
    Root Thelucario says:

    Unsafe for United States citizens and south korean citizens in many ways shape or form

    It is an extremely unsafe country to visit. If you make it out of alive then you probably aren’t a united states citizen. I’ve heard people are tortured there. I’m not going there nor will i ever but i will marry that french black lady i always dreamed of lol. Also the only reason why there is low crime there is just because of the poor treatment of prisoners. Also it is super strict they also treat south korean citizens as they same as if they were american citizens. Don’t go to this lame excuse of a country. Just go somewhere else.

  27. A
    Anders B says:

    Safe with common sense

    From the comments I would assume that many people have not visited the country at all. and so do not have much to contribute. Personally I think the safety index is way too low, as it is for tourists not possible to visit without guides from a state owned travel agency, that decides what to see and do.

    That is, as long as you adhere to basic common sense and follow the guides I would say it is a pretty safe experience as you do not have much to fear from the totalitarian regime as long as you are the good well-behaved tourist, not questioning things and follow the directives of the guide with a humble attitude.

    One exception can be if you come from a so called “hostile country” like United States or so, but if you do not come from such a country you should not have much problems.

    As a tourist it is generally quite safe as long as you have some common sense and humility, the country is terrible in many regards but you will not be exposed to any of these things in your sheltered state-controlled tour.

  28. R
    Root TheLucario says:

    Don’t do it

    North Korea for more than 100 decades now is a police state meaning the cops can arrest whoever they want whenever they want as long as it doesn’t offend kim jong un’s country or regime its ok to arrest someone without reason

North Korea Rated 3.05 / 5 based on 56 user reviews.

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