Tap Water Safety in North Korea

Can you drink the tap water in North Korea?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in North Korea (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in North Korea think about the tap water?

It is not recommended to drink tap water in North Korea. Bottled water is available at all hotels.

The most commonly searched cities in North Korea are:

For a full list of cities in North Korea, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization North Korea Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 95 percent of North Korea have access to drinkable tap water.

In 2000, 69% of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 99% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In North Korea, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 77%.

The rural availability figures at 50%

World Health Organization's 2017 North Korea Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout North Korea includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

DataDescription
Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited
National
20002292969%99%1%
20172549167%95%1%
Rural
2000940155%99%1%
2017968750%90%1%
Urban
20001352879%99%1%
20171580477%97%1%

What Do People In North Korea Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of North Korea have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

DescriptionScoreRating
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility67%High
Water Pollution67%High
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility33%Moderate
Water Quality33%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in North Korea

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