CountryDemocratic People's Republic of Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has experienced a 90% reduction in malaria cases since 2001, from more than 140,000 to fewer than 15,000, and is categorized in the pre-elimination phase by the World Health Organization (WHO). The DPRK first eliminated malaria in the early 1970s. The country was malaria-free until cases re-emerged in 1998 and quickly spread along the border with the Republic of Korea. 

Malaria cases are reported throughout the country, except in the three northern provinces of Jagang, Ryanggang, and North Hamgyong. The majority of cases occur in the three provinces bordering the demilitarized zone between DPRK and Republic of Korea (Kangwon, North Hwanghae, and South Hwanghae). Plasmodium vivax is the only malaria parasite found in DPRK, and the primary vector is Anopheles sinensis, a zoophilic mosquito that breeds in rice fields and other fresh, sun-exposed bodies of water. Secondary vectors include An. listeri, An. anthropophagus, and An. yatushiroensis, which breed in low hills, rice fields, and wetlands.

Quick Facts

  • 47% population living in areas of active transmission (total population: 25 million)
  • 10,535 cases of malaria and 0 deaths in 2015
  • 0.42 Annual Parasite Index (cases/1,000 population/year)
  • Malaria species: P. vivax (100% cases)
  • Elimination goal: zero indigenous cases and zero deaths by 2025