France and North Korea


Political relations

France does not have diplomatic relations with the DPRK. The missions of the French Cooperation Office, opened on 10 October 2011, are mainly humanitarian and cultural.

Economic relations

Trade between France and North Korea is not very significant (€8.2 million in 2016). There are no French companies working in the country. French exports amount to €2 million and North Korea ranks 200 among France’s customers (0.004% of our exports). French exports mainly consist of goods for direct use by the people (food products and organic substances, dental and medical appliances). North Korea, France’s 153th ranking supplier, accounts for 0.002% of our imports (€10 million in mechanical and electrical appliances, plastic and rubber).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France is conducting two cooperation programmes in North Korea:

  • Promoting French: a French language assistant teaches at Kim Il-sung University and Pyongyang University of Foreign Languages. Short-term 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).

Other types of cooperation: humanitarian assistance

France helps the North Korean people with the humanitarian assistance it provides to two French NGOs that have been working in North Korea since the start of the millennium (Triangle Génération Humanitaire and Première Urgence Internationale) as well as to the World Food Programme (WFP). France also makes a significant contribution through the European Union (17% of the total budget).

Updated: 5 July 2017