North Korea power adapters - what plugs are used in North Korea?

North Korean power outlet

What adapter do I need for North Korea?

Bring a Type F plug adapter [3] to North Korea if the plug you intend on using won't fit into a North Korean power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that you'll need when visiting North Korea all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to charge in a North Korean power outlet. If you do not know what voltage your device can use then please read the section below about how to tell the voltage of your device before going any further.

  • Please be aware that areas in North Korea do not have access to power, we suggest bringing a power bank [4] if you need to recharge your mobile phone whilst in a region that doesn't have power.
  • If you are from the US visiting North Korea we recommend bringing a plug adapter for North Korea as US Type A or Type B power outlets might not typically be found. Because the voltage is different in North Korea use a power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in a North Korean power outlet then you can use it in North Korea without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a North Korean power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for North Korea such a Type F plug adapter [3]. Please be aware that a plug adapter for North Korea (or power adapter) is designed to change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in North Korea, but but is unable to change the voltage from 220 volts to another voltage.
  • If your device can't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for North Korea to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for North Korea if your power converter doesn't include the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you simply need to power your USB devices such as mobile phones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter will be more suited and it should work with any voltage, however make sure that you bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for North Korea.

Warning: If your device won't handle the 220 volts used in North Korea you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in North Korea read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

North Korea power adapters

Power adapters for North Korea

Varying complicated combinations of standards and plugs can all be daunting when planning to visit a different country if you've never visited before. This isn't as complicated as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this article tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in North Korea. This page has links to useful instructions showing which power adapters you'll need to supply power to your devices when you're in North Korea using their standard types F, A or C North Korean 220 volt 60Hz wall outlets. Most power adapters change depending on which region you're taking a trip to therefore please read the WikiConnections global power adapters guide where you'll find a complete list of powering devices in different regions.

What is the best power adapter for North Korea?

The best power adapter for North Korea is a Type F power adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 220 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for North Korea?

What is a power adapter for a North Korean power outlet?

A power adapter for North Korea is a small and cheap plastic adapter which permits a North Korean power outlet to accept a different type of power plug from an appliance from another country.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

Do I need a plug adapter for North Korea?

This depends on the shape of plug you want to use in North Korea.

Do I need a power adapter if I'm visiting North Korea from the US?

US Type A or Type B power outlets might not typically be found in North Korea so it is recommended to bring a suitable power adapter for North Korea, however as the voltage is 220 volts you will definitely need to use a power converter for North Korea if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in North Korea?

Power adapters only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt North Korean power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you need to safely use any 100-120 volt device then you will also need a step down power converter along with the correct power adapter.

What does a power adapter for North Korea do?

A power adapter for North Korea allows visitors from a different country to use electronic and electrical devices in North Korea by adapting the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

North Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in North Korea?

Type A, C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in North Korea?

There are three different types of power supply used in North Korea, these are type F, A and C with the primary power supply being type F:

  • Plug Type A - The power outlet (called the type A power outlet) can be identified by two thin slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type C - The plug socket can be identified by two circular holes adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type F - The recessed circular plug socket (called a Schuko socket or type F power outlet) can be recognised by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other, plus a pair of two thin metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.

Do US plugs work in North Korea?

No; because the voltage is different you will need to use a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage. We recommend bringing all types of power adapters for North Korea because American Type A or B power outlets might not commonly be found.

Is the voltage in North Korea the same as the US?

The voltage from a North Korean power outlet is 220 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your American appliance or power charger doesn't support dual voltage then you will need use a suitable power converter for North Korea which can change the voltage from 220 volts to 120 volts.

Is a North Korean power outlet the same as the US?

Although American Type A or B outlets could possibly be found in North Korea it is still advisable to use a suitable plug adapter for North Korea. The frequency is the same as the US however the voltage is different so use a power converter for North Korea if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.

What electrical frequency is used with a North Korean power outlet?

The frequency from a North Korean power outlet is 60 Hz.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in North Korea?

Use a step down power converter if you need to use a 110 volt appliance in a North Korean power outlet.

What is access to electrical power in North Korea like?

In North Korea less than half of the population has access to electrical power.

How reliable is electric in North Korea?

Though power cuts are unpredictable, the power in North Korea is dependable with no history of persistent power blackouts compared to other countries.

Should I use a portable charger in North Korea?

As the power grid isn't available to all of North Korea visitors are advised to check ahead that their accomodation can guarantee a dependable power supply, alternatively pack a second charging option if they need to recharge devices such as mobile phones or cameras.

  • Whilst travelling increased use of mobile phones for taking photographs, storing itineraries, GPS, social networks and staying entertained can syphon off power towards the end of the day. Beyond the inconvenience of missing photograph opportunities a flat mobile phone battery can possibly leave you stranded without sufficient power to make an emergency call or being able to use a GPS app to return to your accommodation or hotel. Using a power bank [4] eases those concerns as it means you can power up your cell phone without needing a North Korean power outlet, especially when visiting a country with limited access to electricity in some areas.
  • Bring at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [4] which will supply enough power to power over 3 full charging cycles and a 20,000mAh power bank [9] should keep a typical mobile phone powered for almost a week depending on the model of phone and usage.
  • If you want to charge your laptop with a power bank in North Korea and it uses a USB-C charging port then look for a portable charger for a laptop [10] marked with PD (power delivery) and a model supplying at least 20 Wh.
  • Be aware that some airlines don't allow you bring power banks on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Average consumer power banks won't work with high powered items that generate heat, but a rechargeable hair dryer [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] are available for travelling to locations with limited access to electricity such as North Korea.
Should I use a portable charger in North Korea?
Will a solar charger work in North Korea?

Solar backpacks will recharge most USB devices

Will a solar charger work in North Korea?

The climate in North Korea might be suitable for a solar power bank [12] but is likely to take time to recharge. Because of the smaller surface area of the cells a solar power bank will need to be kept in powerful daylight for a long period of time to provide enough energy for a single charge, and this might prove difficult to repeatedly pack and unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges between cloud cover.

  • Instead, the bigger durable solar cells found on a solar backpack [11] give the bag the ability to generate more power within a faster period of time.
  • A phone that is directly plugged into the USB charging port of a backpack should trickle charge the battery during sunny periods in North Korea, but might prove inconvenient to have a phone constantly tethered in the bag during the day should it be needed frequently. A power bank [4] plugged in a solar backpack can be constantly topped up inside the bag during sunlight, afterwards the phone can be recharged using the power bank at any time without sunshine.
  • A solar bag that is suitable for North Korea should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or greater.
  • Solar bags are available in backpack, messenger and rucksack styles making them ideal for travel, work and domestic use.
  • Unlike normal solid solar panels, the flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags have been built to survive bending and scratches.

Sources

North Korea chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for North Korea?

When you are travelling to more than one country the best international travel power adapter for North Korea to buy is a multiple USB port adapter which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [13]. North Koreans use three different types of plug sockets (F, A and C) and using a travel charger like this ensures that you are covered for both types A and C.

As these types of chargers come with interchangeable plugs and can handle from 100 volts to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by switching the plugs. If your model of device can support Fast Charge (please note that not all USB devices do) then you will benefit from much faster charging times with one of these power chargers plus support for more power hungry devices like tablets.

Having a 4 port charger means you can power multiple devices at once without needing to buy individual travel adapters on your trip to North Korea or occupying additional power outlets. Only bringing a single travel charger will help keep the size down, making it perfect to fold up in hand luggage whilst travelling. Due to their flexibility these types of adapters can be used when you return home as well as abroad so when you're not travelling they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple tablets, phones and speakers with only a single wall outlet.

For those travelling on a regular basis we recommend searching for a flexible travel charger like this at an electronics retailer. The power charger illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [13] which has been tested successfully for recharging multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries around the world with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for North Korea?

Why use a travel USB charger for North Korea?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers it becomes only necessary to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 individual devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your luggage.
  • Travel USB chargers include interchangeable plug heads for different power outlet types making them perfect if travelling across multiple countries across Asia which are likely to use a different outlet to North Korea.
  • Good chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight - ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair or replace in North Korea.
  • USB travel chargers can accept both the 220 volts used in North Korea power outlets and different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a chance that accommodation or hotel rooms in North Korea might only have a single wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single power supply with family or other traveler rather than waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Due to their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of visiting any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be sparse and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets before a flight can be high, so a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes and will help prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in North Korea could prove to be inconvenient and expensive.
  • Higher priced USB chargers also feature power outlet strips to use low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our section on using travel appliances in North Korea for advice and guidelines on the best power adapter to use with a North Korean power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Some mobile phones could require more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should any of your devices draw additional power.
  • Travel USB chargers can also be useful back at home by recharging multiple cell phones and tablets on a daily basis using only a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for North Korea?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to charge devices via USB, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be necessary when visiting counties with unreliable or unstable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected appliances from voltage spikes. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both North Korea and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact option for travellers originating from North America going to North Korea.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from the US using type B plugs and gives practically the same set of features as the BESTEK with just 1 less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting North Korea.

Power converters for North Korea

What does a power converter for a North Korean power outlet do?

A power converter enables you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical appliance with a 220 volt North Korean power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter for North Korea?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in North Korea, but a heavier and more expensive power converter [14] transforms a 220 volt North Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for North Korea?

When you are travelling to North Korea from another region please ensure the device can be charged using a 220 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [15] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device is incompatible with 220 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a 220 volt single voltage appliance or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to use a lower voltage (for example 120 volts) and used in a 220 volt outlet run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device unless you use a step down power converter [15].
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as clothes irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16].
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more practical and cost effective than carrying a much heavier power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our guides on using clothes irons, curling wands, hair straighteners and blow dryers with a North Korean power outlet , along with advice on affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter for North Korea if I'm visiting from the US?

The voltage from a plug outlet in North Korea is different to a 110 volt US outlet so use a step down power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for North Korea?

You will need to buy a step down power converter [15] which allows you to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in a 220 volt North Korean power outlet.

What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt North Korean power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for North Korea before plugging that into a North Korean power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt North Korean power outlet.

What voltage is used in North Korea?

North Korea uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets.

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

The way to tell if your device is dual voltage is to look for numbers printed on the power plug or on the device itself, normally on the rear of the device or near to where the power cord goes. This location might depend on the make and model of your appliance and could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a North Korean power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a North Korean power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a North Korean power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a North Korean power outlet

Mobile phones which can connect to the North Korean power outlet

Apple iPhones which work with the North Korean power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a North Korean power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a North Korean power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a North Korean power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting North Korea, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [17].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea - North Korea country page on wikipedia.org.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  15. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  16. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets