What is the Legal Drinking Age in North Korea?

by Sophia

What is the Legal Drinking Age in North Korea?

North Korea is a country that is known for its strict and isolated regime but also its heavy drinking culture. But what is the legal drinking age in this secretive nation? The answer is 18 years old, but no one seems to care about that. According to Law No. 243, individuals must be at least 18 to purchase, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages within the country. This regulation applies to residents and tourists visiting North Korea.

There are some exceptions and loopholes to this rule. It is common for children to go shopping on errands for their parents, and shopkeepers will sell them alcohol without any hesitation. It is also normal for adults to recommend a drink or two to boys around the age of 15 on New Year and public holidays. Moreover, there are some places where alcohol can be bought or consumed illegally, such as open markets, home breweries, or private restaurants.

If you are 18 years old or older, you can legally drink alcohol in North Korea, but you should be aware of the risks and consequences of doing so. Alcohol can have adverse effects on your health and safety, and it can also get you in trouble with the authorities if you violate the law or disrespect the regime.

Can 16-Year-Olds Drink in North Korea?

As mentioned above, 16-year-olds can drink in North Korea, but only under certain conditions. They can drink alcohol if their parents send them to buy it or if adults offer it on special occasions. However, this does not mean that they can drink freely or excessively. They still have to follow the law and respect the rules of their drinking places. For example, they cannot drink alcohol on public roads, vehicles, or motorcycles. They also cannot enter bars or clubs with a minimum age requirement of 18. And they cannot buy alcohol from any establishment that sells alcoholic beverages.

16-year-olds who drink in North Korea should do so with caution and moderation. They should also be aware of the risks and consequences of underage drinking, such as health problems, accidents, violence, and legal troubles. They should also respect the culture and customs of North Korea, where drinking is not seen as a way of having fun but as a social activity that requires responsibility and respect.

What Does The North Korean Flag Symbolize?

What are the North Korea Alcohol Laws?

North Korea has a set of laws that regulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages throughout the national territory. These laws aim to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm and protect public health and safety.

  1. The legal drinking age is 18 years old.
  2. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is 0.05%.
  3. The sale of alcohol is prohibited between 12:00 am and 6:00 am, except for hotels, restaurants, and casinos that have a special license.
  4. The sale of alcohol is prohibited to minors, intoxicated persons, and persons under judicial or medical prohibition.
  5. The consumption of alcohol is prohibited on public roads, in vehicles, and on motorcycles.
  6. The advertising of alcohol is regulated and restricted, primarily to protect minors and vulnerable groups.
  7. The production, distribution, and importation of alcohol are subject to quality control and taxation.
  8. Violating these laws is subject to fines, confiscation, suspension, revocation of licenses, and sometimes imprisonment.

The authorities, such as the police, the customs, and the Ministry of Public Health, enforce these laws. However, implementing these laws is not always practical or consistent due to various factors, such as corruption, lack of resources, or social tolerance. Therefore, it is essential for the public to be aware of these laws and to comply with them voluntarily as a way of respecting the law and protecting themselves and others from alcohol-related harm.

Can You Drink on Beaches in North Korea?

Drinking on beaches in North Korea is not illegal as long as you are of legal age and you do not disturb the peace or cause any damage to the environment. However, drinking on beaches is not standard or recommended for several reasons. First, consuming on beaches can expose you to the sun and heat, which can dehydrate you and increase the effects of alcohol. Second, drinking on beaches can impair your judgment and coordination, which can put you at risk of drowning, injury, or theft. Third, drinking on beaches can litter the sand and water, harming the natural scenery’s wildlife and beauty.

Therefore, if you want to drink on beaches in North Korea, you should do so with caution and moderation. You should also follow some tips, such as:

  1. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration.
  2. Drink in the shade or use sunscreen to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
  3. Drink in designated areas or use plastic cups or cans to avoid breaking glass bottles or leaving trash on the beach.
  4. Drink with a friend or a group, and watch out for each other to avoid getting lost or in trouble.
  5. Drink responsibly and know your limits to avoid getting drunk or sick.

What Time Can I Buy Alcohol in North Korea?

The time you can buy alcohol in North Korea depends on where you buy it and what kind of license the establishment has. Generally, the sale of alcohol is prohibited between 12:00 am and 6:00 am, except for hotels, restaurants, and casinos that have a special license. However, some places may have different hours or restrictions, depending on the local regulations or the owners’ discretion. For example, some supermarkets or convenience stores may stop selling alcohol earlier or later than the legal hours, or some bars or clubs may have a minimum age requirement of 18 or 21 to enter or buy alcohol.

Therefore, if you want to buy alcohol in North Korea, you should check the hours and the rules of the place where you want to buy it. You should also have a valid ID to prove your age and avoid problems with the authorities or the sellers. And it would be best if you always bought alcohol from legal and reputable sources to avoid getting counterfeit or adulterated products that can harm your health.

How Do You Ask for a Beer in North Korea?

  1. “맥주 주세요” (maekju juseyo). “Please give me a beer”.
  2. “테동강 맥주 주세요” (taedonggang maekju juseyo) “보헤미아 맥주 주세요” (bohemia maekju juseyo).
  3. “작은거, 큰거, 또는 점보 주세요” (jageungeo, keungeo, ttoneun jumbo juseyo).
  4. “Please give me a small, a large, or a jumbo.” The small size is 12 oz or 33 cl, the large size is 19 oz or 56 cl, and the jumbo size is 33 oz or 100 cl.
  5. “안녕하세요” (annyeonghaseyo) “Hello” or “Hi.”
  6. “감사합니다” (gamsahamnida) “고맙습니다” (gomapseumnida) “Thank you” “Thank you very much”
  7. “건배” (geonbae) “짠” (jjan), “Cheers” “Cheers”.
  8. “맛있어요” (masisseoyo) “좋아요” (joayo), “It’s delicious” “It’s good”.

Drinking beer in North Korea can be a great way to enjoy the local culture and the climate. However, you should always drink responsibly and in moderation and respect the country’s laws and customs. Cheers!


North Korea is a country with a rich and diverse culture of alcohol consumption. There is no legal drinking age in North Korea, although it is generally frowned upon for students to drink. North Koreans enjoy various kinds of alcoholic beverages, some of which are made exclusively for the ruling Kim family. Alcohol is widely available in restaurants, markets, and factories, as well as home-brewed. However, drinking alcohol is also subject to the political and social conditions of the country, and some regions may have stricter regulations than others.


Q: What is the legal drinking age in North Korea?

A: There is no legal drinking age in North Korea.

Q: What kind of alcohol is popular in North Korea?

A: North Koreans tend to prefer hard liquor, such as soju, which is made from potatoes, corn, or other grains. They also drink beer, wine, and fruit-based alcohol, such as berry or acorn liquor.

Q: How do North Koreans get alcohol?

A: North Koreans can buy alcohol from restaurants, markets, or factories or make their own at home. Some alcohol is imported from China or other countries, while some is produced domestically. Some alcohol is reserved for the Kim family and the elite and can only be obtained through connections.

Q: How much does alcohol cost in North Korea?

A: The price of alcohol varies depending on the product’s type, quality, and availability. Generally, domestic alcohol is cheaper than imported alcohol, and home-brewed alcohol is the most affordable. According to some sources, a bottle of soju can cost around 1,000 won (about 0.11 USD), while a bottle of beer can cost about 500 won (about 0.06 USD).

Q: How often do North Koreans drink alcohol?

A: North Koreans drink alcohol on various occasions, such as holidays, celebrations, social gatherings, or to relax. Drinking alcohol is also a way of coping with the hardships and stress of life in North Korea. However, drinking too much alcohol can also have negative consequences, such as health problems, accidents, or political trouble.

Q: How do North Koreans drink alcohol?

A: North Koreans drink alcohol in different ways, depending on the type of drink and the situation. For example, soju is usually drunk in shots, while beer is drunk in glasses. North Koreans also have some drinking customs, such as toasting, sharing, and respecting the elders. Drinking alcohol is also a way of bonding and showing loyalty to one’s friends, family, or colleagues.

Q: What are the effects of alcohol on North Koreans?

A: Alcohol has various effects on North Koreans, both positive and negative. On the one hand, alcohol can make people feel happy, relaxed, and confident. It can also enhance creativity, humor, and friendship. On the other hand, alcohol can also impair judgment, coordination, and memory. It can also cause aggression, violence, and depression. Alcohol can also damage the liver, heart, brain, and other organs.

Q: What are the laws and regulations on alcohol in North Korea?

A: There are no specific laws or regulations on alcohol consumption in North Korea, except for some general rules, such as not drinking during work hours, not driving under the influence, and not causing public disorder. However, the laws and regulations on alcohol may vary depending on the region, the situation, and the political climate. For example, some areas may have stricter rules on alcohol than others, and some events may prohibit or limit alcohol consumption. Moreover, drinking alcohol can also expose people to the risk of surveillance, interrogation, or punishment by the authorities, especially if they say or do something against the regime.

Q: How do North Koreans deal with hangovers?

A: North Koreans have various methods of dealing with hangovers, such as drinking water, eating soup, taking medicine, or sleeping. Some North Koreans also use traditional remedies, such as herbal teas, acupuncture, or massage. However, some North Koreans may not have access to these methods or may not have enough time or money to use them. Therefore, some North Koreans may endure a hangover or drink more alcohol to ease the pain.

Q: How does alcohol affect the society and culture of North Korea?

A: Alcohol plays a significant role in North Korean society and culture. Alcohol is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and loyalty. It is also a source of entertainment, pleasure, and escape. However, alcohol can also be a cause of conflict, violence, and corruption. Alcohol can also reflect the social and economic inequalities, as well as the political and ideological tensions, of the country. Alcohol can also influence the identity, values, and beliefs of the people.


Sophia writes for Adam Magazine. She likes to learn and write about age. She tells stories about people, animals, and laws related to age. She wants to make the readers of Adam Magazine happy and interested.