Northern Pacific Rim
Early European visitors to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea remarked that the country resembled "a sea in a heavy gale" because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula. Some 80% of North Korea is composed of mountains and uplands, separated by deep and narrow valleys.
North Korea's population of roughly 24 million is one of the most ethnically and linguistically homogeneous in the world. According to North Korean documents and refugee testimonies, all North Koreans are sorted into groups according to their "Songbun", an ascribed status system. North Korea is the world's most militarized society, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel.
As a result of its isolation, it is sometimes known as the "hermit kingdom". Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN's commission on human rights in North Korea report of severe restrictions on human rights and crimes against humanity 'without parallel in the modern world'. According to a ranking published by Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted Christians, North Korea is currently the country with the most severe persecution of Christians in the world. Open Doors estimates that 50,000–70,000 Christians are detained in North Korean prison camps. According to Religious Intelligence the situation of religion in North Korea is the following:
Korean shamanism: (16% of population)
Cheondoism: (13.5% of population)
Buddhism: (4.5% of population)
Christianity: (1.7% of population)
Photo by Rapid Travveler Chai / CC BY