How to Make International Calls : How to Call South Korea From the United States
How to Call Korea
Making international calls is a slightly different process than calling locally, but it doesn't have to be difficult. If you’re trying to reach South Korea, you just need your country’s international prefix number. Add South Korea’s country code before dialing the phone number. If you need to reach North Korea, however, you may have a little bit more trouble. Only certain numbers, such as those belonging to embassies or foreign nationals, can receive international calls. International calling rates can be expensive, so plan ahead when making a call.
Calling South Korea
Find and enter your international prefix code.This is based on the country you are currently calling from. This number will be typed in first. Some common international prefixes include:
- United States and Canada: 011
- Australia: 0011
- United Kingdom: 00
- You can find your country's international prefix code by visiting the Nations Online Project:
- If you are on a mobile phone, look at your zero digit on your keypad. If there is a “+” under it, you can press this instead of adding the international prefix code.
Press 82 for South Korea’s country code.This is entered right after the international prefix code. This number ensures that your call is connected to South Korea.
Leave out the first 0 in the number.Most Korean phone numbers will begin with a zero. Leave this 0 out when you are making an international call to South Korea. Instead, go straight from the country code to the phone number.
- For example, if the number begins 010, you should dial 10.
Finish with the phone number.Once you have entered the international prefix code and the country code, dial the nine or ten digit phone number. An international call to South Korea might look like 011-82-XX-XXX-XXXX.
- Area codes are built into the phone numbers in South Korea, so you do not need to add any additional numbers.
Contacting North Korea
Check that the phone number you were given has the prefix 381.Only numbers that begin with 381 can accept international phone calls in North Korea. Most embassies and international businesses will have this prefix. Most civilian numbers most likely will not, unless they belong to a foreign national.
- If the number begins with 382, you cannot call it from an international phone.
- If you have a loved one living in or visiting North Korea, keep in mind that their normal phone number will not work. Foreigners can bring mobile phones into North Korea, but they must buy a local SIM card.
Dial your international prefix code.This prefix depends on the country you are calling from. Type this number first before you continue with the rest of the phone number. The international prefix for the US and Canada is 011. For the UK, it is 00, and for Australia, it is 0011.
- If you don't know your country's international prefix code, look it up online or use the Nations Online Project: .
Type in 850 for North Korea’s country code.This will go right after your international prefix code. Some international numbers may include the country code already at the beginning.
Add a 2 after the country code.This is Pyongyang’s area code. All international numbers in North Korea have this area code.
Continue with the rest of the number.The phone number should be 7 digits long. It will start with the numbers 381. A typical international call to North Korea might look like 011-850-2-381-XXXX.
Try again if you get an operator.It is not uncommon for international calls to be restricted or dropped when calling North Korea. If your call is important, try again. Doublecheck that you have entered the correct number. If you cannot get in touch, try communicating via email.
Making the Call
Check what your phone carrier charges you before calling.Calling abroad can be expensive. To make sure you don’t have any surprises when your phone bill comes in, look up the rates for calling Korea from your country. Rates may vary between landlines and mobile phones.
- International calls to North Korea are much more expensive than to South Korea. You may not have as many options if you are looking for discounts.
Buy an international calling plan if you call Korea often.These plans often provide discounts in exchange for a small monthly fee. For example, if you are calling Korea using AT&T, you will pay about .09 cents a minute if you are on their international plan compared to .55 if you are not.
Use a prepaid calling card.This card will have a phone number and a PIN number on it. Call the phone number. Either dial or state your PIN when requested. They will ask you to dial the phone number you want to reach. Type in the full international phone number with the international prefix code and the country code added.
- Check how many minutes you will get to talk before purchasing the card. You can do this by looking up the card online or reading the fine print on the card. Do not purchase a card if you cannot figure out the fees.
Make a phone call over the internet instead.These are called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls. These will allow you to make a phone call over the internet. They are often cheaper than international phone calls, and some may allow you to make a phone call from your smart phone instead of your computer.
- Google and Skype both offer these services.
- When using VoIP, type in the same international number as you would on the telephone.
Pay attention to the time difference between Korea and your country.North and South Korea are both in Korean Standard time. This is 9 hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+9:00). To make sure you’re not waking anyone up, doublecheck what time it is in Korea. Korea is:
- 13 hours ahead of the eastern United States and Canada.
- 16 hours ahead of the western United States and Canada.
- 8 hours ahead of the UK.
- 1 hour behind Australian Eastern Time Zone.
Save your Korean contacts with their full international number.You will need to add the international prefix and country code every single time you dial. To save yourself some time, make sure these digits are already added to any saved contacts that you have.
QuestionIs it really possible to call North Korea? Would they even answer?Top AnswererYes, just like if you were to call any other country. They would answer, but calls can be dropped, or redirected.Thanks!
Video: How to make International call in Korea?
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