The dramatic, mountainous topography of North Korea was described by the first European visitors as an ocean in a heavy gale due to the numerous high ranges, uplands and deep valleys bisecting the country. The successive peaks affect the weather, with most of the population living in the lowlands and plains. There are four distinct seasons classified as a continental climate.

Winter across North Korea is long and bitterly cold, with snowstorms interspersed with clear skies and freezing northwest and northern winds blowing directly from Siberia. The mountain ranges and their valleys see the worst winter weather. Summers are short, with high humidity and lots of rain due to the southeastern and southern monsoon winds which carry moist air from the Pacific Ocean. Typhoons are common during the summer bringing a short, wet rainy season.

The short, transitional seasons of spring and fall see variable winds and pleasant, mild temperatures, although droughts sometimes occur in spring which are followed by severe flooding, devastating the agricultural areas. Fall is also subject to the occasional typhoon.

Outside of the high summer months, there is a sharp distinction between daytime and night-time temperatures, with warm clothing required in the evenings. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures around 90°F along with high humidity, and the wettest months by far. May, June and September see daytime temperatures around 70°F and far less rain, while December through February sees almost no rain and lows of 10°F or colder.

Best Time to Visit North Korea

It’s only possible to visit North Korea on an expensive, all-inclusive package, and choosing an off-season, less pricey time of year may result in bad weather and longer trips between sightseeing. Savings may be found by a careful choice of flights to Beijing to begin your trip. In general, the cost of your tour will be comparatively high but, for travelers seeking a one-off experience in the world’s most isolated country, it’s well worth it. Groups of more than five people are usually offered discounts up to 10 percent off from tour companies.