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 rules


Romanization a ya ŏ o yo u yu ǔ i ae yae e ye oe wi ǔi wa wae we


Romanization Initial k n t r m p s ch chʼ h kk tt pp ss tch -
Final l t t t k t t - - t - ng
  • In double consonants in the end of a word or before a consonant, only one of them is written:
  • 닭섬 → Taksŏm
  • 물곬 → Mulgol
  • However, in the case before a vowel, both consonants are written:
  • 붉은바위 → Pulgǔnbawi
  • 앉은바위 → Anjǔnbawi
  • The soft voiceless consonants between vowels ㄱ, ㄷ, and ㅂ and those between resonant sounds and vowels are transcribed as g, d, and b.

Special provisions

Initial consonant of the next syllable
k n t (r) m p 1s ch chʼ h 2


k kk ngn kt ngn ngm kp ks kch kchʼ kkʼ ktʼ kpʼ kh g
n n-g nn nd nn nm nb ns nj nchʼ nkʼ ntʼ npʼ nh n
t tk nn tt nn nm tp ss tch tchʼ tkʼ ttʼ tpʼ th d
ㄹ l lg ll/nn ld3 ll lm lb ls lj3 lchʼ lkʼ ltʼ lpʼ lh r
m mg mn md mn mm mb ms mj mchʼ mkʼ mtʼ mpʼ mh m
p pk mn pt mn mm pp ps pch pchʼ pkʼ ptʼ ppʼ ph b
ㅅ s tk nn tt nn nm tp ss tch tchʼ tkʼ ttʼ tpʼ th s
ㅇ ng ngg ngn ngd ngn ngm ngb ngs ngj ngchʼ ngkʼ ngtʼ ngpʼ ngh 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 → Chǒnnima
  • 한라산 → Hannasan
  • 압록강 → Amnokkang
  • 은률 → Ǔnnyul
  • 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 Chol

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.