International and multilateral agreements to which the DPRK is a party are organized by category below.

War, Arms Control, and International Crime

Agreement Status
Korean War Armistice Agreement Signed July 27, 1953; claimed the agreement to be "nullified" on multiple occasions
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War Acceded August 27, 1957 with reservations
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War Acceded August 27, 1957 with reservations
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field Acceded August 27, 1957 with reservations
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea Acceded August 27, 1957 with reservations
Final Act of the Diplomatic Geneva Conference, 1974-1977 Signed October 6, 1977
Convention on offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft Acceded May 9, 1983
Convention on the prohibition of military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques Acceded November 8, 1984
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Acceded December 12, 1985; announced withdrawal March 16, 1993 (suspended); withdrew January 10, 2003
Antarctic Treaty Acceded January 21, 1987
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Acceded March 13, 1987
Additional Protocol (I) to the Geneva Conventions, Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts Acceded March 9, 1988
Geneva Protocol on Asphyxiating or Poisonous Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods, 1925 Acceded January 4, 1989
Protocol for the suppression of unlawful acts of violence at airports serving international civil aviation Signed April 11, 1989
International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages Acceded November 12, 2001
Convention on psychotropic substances Acceded March 19, 2007
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended Acceded March 19, 2007
United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Acceded March 19, 2007
Outer Space Treaty Acceded March 5, 2009
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Signed November 12, 2001; ratified July 25, 2013
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime Acceded June 17, 2016 with reservations

Human Rights

Agreement Status
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Acceded September 14, 1981; announced withdrawal August 23, 1997, though treaty does not include a withdrawal provision
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Acceded September 14, 1981
Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity Acceded November 8, 1984
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Acceded January 31, 1989
Convention on the Rights of the Child Signed August 23, 1990; ratified September 21, 1990; accepted amendment to Article 43 (2) February 23, 2000
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Acceded February 27, 2001 with reservations; partially withdrew reservations November 23, 2015
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Signed July 3, 2013; ratified December 6, 2016
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Signed September 9, 2014; ratified November 10, 2014
Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled Signed June 28, 2013; ratified February 19, 2016

International Health and the Environment

Agreement Status
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident Signed September 29, 1986; not ratified
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency Signed October 29, 1986; not ratified
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Signed June 11, 1992; approved May 12, 1994
Convention on Biological Diversity Signed June 11, 1992; approved October 26, 1994
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer Acceded January 24, 1995; subsequently acceded to multiple amendments
Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer Acceded January 24, 1995
International Plant Protection Convention Adhered to text January 16, 1996; adhered to revised text August 25, 2003
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Acceded August 26, 2002
International Treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture Acceded July 16, 2003
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity Signed April 20, 2001; ratified July 29, 2003
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Acceded December 29, 2003
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade Acceded June 2, 2004
Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Acceded April 27, 2005
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Signed June 17, 2003; ratified April 27, 2005
Plant Protection Agreement for the Asia and Pacific Region Accepted November 23, 2006
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal Acceded July 10, 2008
Paris Agreement on Climate Change Signed April 22, 2016; ratified August 1, 2016

Economic Cooperation and Management of the Global Commons

Agreement Status
International Telecommunication Convention Acceded September 24, 1975
Convention on International Civil Aviation Adhered August 16, 1977
Postal Parcels Agreement Ratified September 18, 1978
Subscriptions to Newspapers and Periodicals Agreement Ratified September 18, 1978
Insured Letters Agreement Ratified September 18, 1978
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Signed December 10, 1982; not ratified
Convention on the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea Acceded May 1, 1985
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea Acceded May 1, 1985, with Protocol
International Convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers Acceded May 1, 1985
Agreement on the Global System of Trade Preferences among developing countries Definitively signed April 13, 1988
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships Acceded October 18, 1989
International Convention for Safe Containers Acceded October 18, 1989
International Convention on Load Lines Acceded October 18, 1989
Agreement on the network of aquaculture centres in Asia and the Pacific Acceded May 23, 1990
Convention on facilitation of international maritime traffic Acceded April 24, 1992
Convention on registration of objects launched into outer space Acceded October 3, 2009
Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network Acceded October 12, 2012
Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network Acceded October 12, 2012
Svalbard Treaty Acceded January 25, 2016

Intellectual Property

Agreement Status
Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks Acceded March 7, 1980
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property Acceded March 7, 1980
Patent Cooperation Treaty Acceded April 8, 1980
Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol Signed June 28, 1983; not ratified
Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs Acceded May 27, 1992
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks Signed June 28, 1989; approved July 3, 1996
Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs Acceded March 6, 1997
Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks Acceded March 6, 1997
Patent Law Treaty Signed June 2, 2000; not ratified
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure Acceded November 21, 2001
Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification Acceded November 21, 2001
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works Acceded January 28, 2003
International Treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture Acceded July 16, 2003
Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration Acceded October 4, 2004
Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances Signed June 26, 2012; ratified February 19, 2016
Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks Signed March 28, 2006; ratified June 13, 2016

Culture, Education, and Sports

Agreement Status
Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property Ratified May 13, 1983
Regional Convention on the recognition of studies, diplomas, and degrees in higher education in Asia and the Pacific Signed December 16, 1983; approved April 26, 1989
Convention for the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage Accepted July 21, 1998
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Ratified November 21, 2008
International Convention against doping in sport Acceded October 4, 2010

Diplomatic Conventions

Agreement Status
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Acceded October 29, 1980
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents Acceded December 1, 1982
Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character Acceded December 14, 1982
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations Acceded August 8, 1984
Convention on special missions Acceded May 22, 1985
Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel Acceded October 8, 2003

What are the sources for this data?

Information on North Korea's participation in international treaties is available through the United Nations Online Treaty Series. Additional information was compiled by reference to the websites of international organizations affiliated with certain treaties (such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross), as well as through reference to contemporary news reports.

Is North Korea a party to any treaties or agreements that aren't included on this list?

This list excludes any agreements making signatory states parties to an international or multilateral organization. (DPRK membership in these organizations is noted in a separate dataset.) It excludes some duplicative agreements (for example, if North Korea has agreed to multiple amendments to a given convention). It also leaves out some agreements that are clearly obsolete, such as North Korean agreements with the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon), the Soviet-led economic cooperation organization which dissolved in 1991.

Additionally, this list does not include bilateral North Korean treaties or agreements.

What major international treaties or agreements is North Korea not a party to?

War, Arms Control, and International Crime: The DPRK is the only country to have withdrawn from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). (India, Pakistan, and Israel have not signed the NPT.) Additionally, North Korea has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Seabed Arms Control Treaty, the Mine Ban Treaty, or Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions.

Human Rights: As North Korea is not a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), it has not signed any ILO conventions on labor rights. Additionally, North Korea has not signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, or the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

International Health and the Environment: North Korea has not signed the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Economic Cooperation and Management of the Global Commons: As North Korea is not a member of any International Financial Institutions (other than the International Fund for Agricultural Development), it has not signed any agreements associated with them. Additionally, the DPRK has signed, but not ratified, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

What do the different terms such as "ratification" or "accession" mean, exactly?

According to the United Nations' glossary of terms related to treaty actions (which we've abridged below):

Signature: Where the signature is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, the signature does not establish the consent to be bound. However, it is a means of authentication and expresses the willingness of the signatory state to continue the treaty-making process. The signature qualifies the signatory state to proceed to ratification, acceptance or approval. It also creates an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat the object and the purpose of the treaty.

Ratification: Ratification defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties intended to show their consent by such an act. The institution of ratification grants states the necessary time-frame to seek the required approval for the treaty on the domestic level and to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to that treaty.

Accession: "Accession" is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect as ratification. Accession usually occurs after the treaty has entered into force. The conditions under which accession may occur and the procedure involved depend on the provisions of the treaty. 

Acceptance and Approval: The instruments of "acceptance" or "approval" of a treaty have the same legal effect as ratification and consequently express the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In the practice of certain states acceptance and approval have been used instead of ratification when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by the head of state.

Definitive Signature: When the treaty is not subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, "definitive signature" establishes the consent of the state to be bound by the treaty. 

Reservation: A reservation is a declaration made by a state by which it purports to exclude or alter the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty in their application to that state. A reservation enables a state to accept a multilateral treaty as a whole by giving it the possibility not to apply certain provisions with which it does not want to comply. Reservations can be made when the treaty is signed, ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to. Reservations must not be incompatible with the object and the purpose of the treaty. Furthermore, a treaty might prohibit reservations or only allow for certain reservations to be made.