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North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) has a dedicated terrorism provision in its Criminal Code. The maximum sentence is the death penalty. Many other offences against the State, and in particular the country's leader, Kim Jung Un, are set out in national law.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

North Korea has a single dedicated provision on terrorism in its Criminal Code. It stipulates that terrorism involves a person killing, abducting, or injuring cadres or people "with anti-State purposes".Art. 60, Criminal Code of North Korea. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


North Korea is a State Party to several of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State not party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State not party


There is no regional treaty on terrorism to which North Korea can adhere.

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Killing, abducting or injuring cadres or people with anti-State purposes is punished by reform through labour for more than five years. "In cases where the person commits a grave offence, he or she shall be punished by life-term reform through labour or the death penalty, and confiscation of property".Art. 60, Criminal Code of North Korea.

The death penalty is also imposed for many other offences against the State. The law stipulates that leaving the country without permission is a crime of “treachery against the nation”, which is also punishable by death. Other such capital offences reportedly include falling asleep in the presence of the leader, Kim Jong Un.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

North Korea has an exceptionally extensive State security system. 


Criminal Law of the Democratic Republic of Korea (2009)