Romanization of Korean (North)

Romanization of Korean is the official Korean-language romanization system in North Korea. Announced by the Sahoe Kwahagwŏn, has replaced the older McCune–Reischauer system since 1992,[1][2] and it was last updated in 2002.[2]

Transcription rulesEdit


Romanization a ya ŏ o yo u yu ŭ i ae yae e* ye oe wi ŭi wa wae we


Romanization Initial k n t r m p s j ch kh th ph h kk tt pp ss jj -
Final l t t t k t p t k - - t - ng
  • In double consonants in the end of a word or before a consonant, only one of them is written:
  • 닭섬 → Taksŏm
  • 물곬 → Mulkol
  • However, in the case before a vowel, both consonants are written:
  • 붉은바위 → Pulgŭnbawi
  • 앉은바위 → Anjŭnbawi
  • The soft voiceless consonants between vowels ㄱ, ㄷ, and ㅂ and those between resonant sounds and vowels are transcribed as g, d, and b.
  • When ng is followed by y or w, the hyphen is not used:
  • 평양 → Phyŏngyang
  • 강원 → Kangwŏn

Special provisionsEdit

Initial consonant of the next syllable
k n t (r) m p 1s j ch kh th ph h 2


k kk ngn kt ngr ngm kp ks kj kch kkh kth kph kh g
n n-g ll nd ll nm nb ns nj nch nkh nth nph nh n
t tk nn tt ll nm tp ss tj tch tkh tth tph th d
ㄹ l lg ll/nn ld3 lr lm lb ls lj3 lch lkh lth lph lh r
m mg mn md mr mm mb ms mj mch mkh mth mph mh m
p pk mn pt mr mm pp ps pj pch pkh pth pph ph b
ㅅ s tk nn tt ll nm tp ss tj tch tkh tth tph th s
ㅇ ng ngg ngn ngd ngr ngm ngb ngs ngj ngch ngkh ngth ngph ngh ng-/ng
  1. 쉬 is romanized shwi.
  2. ㅇ is an initial consonant before a vowel to indicate the absence of sound.
  3. In Sino-Korean words, lt and lch respectively.


  • 천리마 → Chŏllima
  • 한라산 → Hallasan
  • 압록강 → Amrokgang
  • 은률 → Ŭnryul
  • 뒤문 → Twinmun


A personal name is written by family name first, followed by a space and the given name with the first letter capitalized. Also, each letter of a name of Chinese character origin is written separately.

  • 김꽃분이 → Kim Kkotpuni
  • 박동구 → Pak Tong Gu
  • 안복철 → An Pok Chŏl

A name for administrative units is hyphenated from the placename proper:

However, a name for geographic features and artificial structures is not hyphenated:


  1. ^ "Working Paper No. 46" (PDF). UNGEGN. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  2. ^ a b "Updates to the report on the current status of United Nations romanization systems for geographical names" (PDF). UNGEGN. Retrieved 2018-03-17. In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea there is a national system adopted in 1992 and presented to the 17th session of UNGEGN in 1994, updated version was published in 200220.