North Korea Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


Vaccination needed receipt required
Eat Drink 4
malaria 3
Typhoid & Polio Yes
cholera 2
yellow fever 1


Medical care is inadequate across the country. Hospitals, even those designed specifically for foreigners, are by no means of Western standard. More serious diseases must therefore be treated in other countries. Due to the shortage of medicines, bandages, medical instruments and aids, a suitably equipped first-aid kit is recommended. Travel health insurance with emergency repatriation is strongly recommended. Check ebizdir for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] A vaccination certificate against yellow fever is required for travelers who plan to enter the country within 6 days of staying in an infected area designated by the WHO and who are over one year old. [2] A vaccination certificate against cholera is not an entry requirement. Cholera has also not been reported for a long time. [3] Low malaria risk of the less dangerous form Plasmodium vivax in summer and autumn in the lowland belt along the border with South Korea. [4] Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases that are transmitted through contaminated food or drinks (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid fever, bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases). The drinking water treatment is inadequate. Water should generally either be boiled or otherwise sterilized before it is used for drinking, brushing teeth and making ice cubes. Drinking water in sealed bottles is considered safe. Milk is not pasteurized and should also be boiled. Only mix dry and canned milk with sterile water. It is best to avoid dairy products made from unboiled milk. Meat and fish dishes should only be well cooked and served hot. Pork, raw salads and mayonnaise should be avoided. Vegetables should be boiled and fruits should be peeled.

Other risks

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. Vaccination against hepatitis B should be given during longer stays and close contact with the local population, as well as for children and young people in general. There is an increased risk of contracting Japanese encephalitis in rural areas from July to October. Rabies can occur. Carriers include dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccination is recommended for backpackers, children, occupational risk groups and for longer stays. In the event of a bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

bird flu

Avian flu has been confirmed in Korea (North). Travelers should therefore stay away from poultry and avoid any contact with live and dead animals. The consumption of raw poultry dishes and eggs should be avoided. Well-cooked poultry dishes and eggs can be enjoyed without hesitation. Thorough cleaning of the hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant solutions is generally recommended as a precautionary measure.

Health certificate

For long-term stays, an English-language HIV test is required.



1 won = 100 khons. Currency code: NKW, KPW (ISO code). Banknotes come in denominations of 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5 NKW; Coins are in denominations of 100, 50, 10 and 1 NKW and 50, 10, 5 and 1 Chon.

Credit cards

Credit cards are not accepted. Cash only.


ATMs are not available.

Travelers cheques

Traveler’s checks are not accepted in Korea (North).

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00, Sat 09.00-13.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currencies is unlimited, declaration obligation. Export of foreign currencies up to the amount imported and declared, minus the exchange amounts.

Currency Exchange

In fact, foreigners have to settle all expenses in euros, US$ and partly in Japanese yen in cash. Money transfer to North Korea from abroad is not possible. Sufficient cash funds must be brought with you for the entire trip.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
KPW 1 EUR = 941.23₩
1 CHF = 1114.93₩
1 USD = 900.00₩

North Korea Money