France and North Korea


Political Relations

France does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea. The missions of the French Cooperation Office, opened on 10 October 2011 in Pyongyang, are mainly humanitarian and cultural. In a context of strict border closures by the North Korean authorities, and suspended ties with the rest of the world, the decision was made to temporarily close the French Cooperation Office on 9 March 2020.

France conducts two cultural cooperation programmes in North Korea:

  • Promoting French: support to French language teaching at Kim Il-sung University and Pyongyang University of Foreign Languages. Short language courses are also held for North Korean French students and teachers;
  • Archaeological cooperation: France supports the programme established in 2003 between the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) and the North Korea’s National Bureau for Cultural Properties Conservation, in the field of research, expertise and archaeological excavation on the site of Kaesong, former capital of the Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).

France provides the North Korean people with food aid and supports French NGOs active in the country, as well as the World Food Programme and UNICEF.

French Presence

Fewer than ten French nationals live in North Korea and around 170 North Koreans live in France.

Economic Relations

Trade between France and North Korea is virtually zero.

Updated: May 2020