Obviously, you can bring clothing, but would refrain from bring anything with offensive prints. Shorts and tee shirts are acceptable, but the locals will typically be wearing long pants and shirts of various darker and earth tones.
The only reason to bring any formal attire is for the day your tour may visit the tomb of Kim Song Il. It is customary for men to wear shirt and tie, while women should wear an appropriate dress.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Any toiletries and medical supplies will be allowed. For these, the airlines would be the most strict about what can and cannot be taken.
Photo Equipment: Video and cameras are allowed. Extremely high quality zoom may result in your escorts watching you more closely, but will not interfere. Your guides will tell you what you are allowed to take photos.
Miscellaneous: See the customs declaration. You should avoid bringing any of these if you can. A laptop computer will be allowed, but might be searched for any type of wireless connector.
Cell phones and GPS devices will be confiscated at entry point and only returned upon your departure. Similarly, your guides will hold your passports during your entire visit.
Any books and/or art that you are carrying 'may' be searched for content. They seem to do that at random.
Miscellaneous: Even though it is possible to exchange for North Korea won, you can't actually spend it anywhere. Take with you Euro's, US dollars or Chinese RMB and take these in small denominations as it can be quite an event to get the right change back (basically in whatever they have lying around). Practically everything was priced in Euro's. Also take with you any medical items, sanitary items, batteries and memory cards for your camera. Camera's are not confiscated upon arrival but mobile phones are (you get these back at the end of your trip). One guy on my tour was allowed his lap-top. iPod's etc are also no problem as well as guide books as I got my Lonely Planet Korea through the airport check.
If you travel between June and August you should have an umbrella for the wet weather.
If you visit some holy places or monuments appropriate clothing must be worn. Especially when you visit the Mausoleum - Kumsusan Memorial Palace (to pay homage to the embalmed body of the country’s eternal leader, Kim Il Sung).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take with you all medicines that you normally use. It is a good idea to have some stomach medicines.
Photo Equipment: Laptops are ok to take in, as well as MP-3 players. All sort of cameras too.
Miscellaneous: Foreigners are not allowed to pay with or buy any local currency (North Korean Won). All transactions are made in Euros, US Dollars, or Chinese Yuan.
It would be nice if you took with you some little presents/souvenirs for the guides and local children. Men appreciate cigarettes (most Korean men smoke) and women like inexpensive cosmetics.
Photo Equipment: Well, there's seemed to be no more restriction on the zoom lens as previously indicated, of course don't try to bring a huge tele lens, I had mine a 300mm without arousing any problems .. and my roommate was using a 12x Panasonic Lumix.
Luggage and bags:
Your luggage will be carried and transportet amlost every day. A suitcase or hardcover bag rather than a backbag.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring good shoes as you will walk quite a lot and bring warm clothes if you go in winter. It is very cold in buildings, too!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring all you might need! You will not have the chance to get anything else than toothpaste!
Photo Equipment: Do not bring a professional camera... it might causes problems at custom. I had a Canon EOS 20 and had no problem at all.
Miscellaneous: Do not bring your cell phone (might be kept at the custom or put in a sealed bag), any recording device or tapes and CD's. Do bring some cigarettes, chocolates and other presents for your guides.
It can rain, in particular in summer.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bringing sufficient medical supplies for all possibilities is certainly a good idea.
Photo Equipment: Bringing photo equipment is ok.
Miscellaneous: Mobile phones, GPS receivers etc. are not allowed. Best is to bring no electronic gadgets at all.
Luggage and bags:
I would propose a hard bag like a Samsonite or something like that, especially if you take the train from Beijing to Pyongyang.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In Winter it can be veeeery cold. Winter 2000 it was once in Pyongyang -20 degrees. Summers are very hot. Take with you everything you need, I have never seen Clothing or something to buy...
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: They are available at the Hotel but prices are relatively high and maybe the thing you need is not available.
Photo Equipment: At Yangakkdo Hotel there is even a place to develop Films. I would propose too, to take everything from Home. It's might be better quality and better price.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping? Forget about. Beach, maybe in Wonsan, but I don't think that everyone will go to Northkorea for the Beach ;-)
Miscellaneous: As above, I would take everything I need with me, even Magazines (take care what kind of Magazine you take with you). Handphone you have to leave at the customs at Pyongyang Airport and they will give it back to you witout any problems.
Good nice walking shoes. You will be travel by car probably more than you would like.
Photo Equipment: A video camera can be very useful - I had my old video camera with me. Some sources claim that it is not allowed, but only once my North Korean fellow thought I am a journalist when I was using it in the train.
Good walking shoes and rainwear - it can get chilly. Leave your disco gear at home.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take everything you need - medical supplies are non-existent.
Photo Equipment: You will not be permitted to take in any video cameras, binoculars or recording equipment. Camera are permitted but must be used only with the guides permission. Don't try to pretend your video is just a camera - it's been tried before and the border guards are far from stupid and extremely thorough.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You won't need any. The beaches are mined against potential South Korean attack anyhow.
Miscellaneous: Bring fruit, chocolates and other items to thank the many, many guides you will encounter - stamps, postcards etc. etc. This is a country that never, ever sees western consumer goods and is in the grips of a major famine - what would you want to be given as a gift?
Pyongyang, North Korea
Good for: Families
Staying in Yanggakdo Hotel is the most freedom you will experience in Pyongyang. You are allowed to...more
Chongchun Street, Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang, North Korea
Good for: Solo