Following the 1972 constitution, last revised in 1998,
North Korea is a unified state democratic people 's
The Constitution emphasizes the country's revolutionary
traditions. The ideological basis is the idea of Juche,
self-sufficiency and independence, as it is targeted by the
state-bearing party, the Korean Labor Party.
The state-carrying party
The Korean Labor Party, led by Kim Il Sung, came to power
in the Soviet-occupied northern part of the Korean Peninsula
in 1946. North Korea was proclaimed a separate state in
1948. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of KP and its meanings of North Korea.
Kim Il Sung became prime minister in 1947 and president
in 1972. He ruled until his death in 1994 and introduced a
more personal and personalizing regime than any other
communist head of state. As long as he lived, in all
official contexts he was referred to as "the great leader" (widaehan
suryong); According to a constitutional amendment in
1998, even after his death, he is "the eternal president of
the republic" and is referred to as "the sun of mankind".
After Kim Il Sung, the son took over Kim Jong Il, whose
formal power base in the state apparatus was as prime
minister and chairman of the national defense commission as
well as the secretary general of the labor party; he is also
referred to as "the sun of mankind." Kim Jong-il died on
December 17, 2011, and then his son Kim Jong-un took over.
People's Assembly and Cabinet
Formally, the power lies with the working people, who
exercise power through the upper general assembly and public
assemblies at lower administrative levels. The supreme
assembly has 687 members and is elected in the general
election for five years. The voting age is 17 years. The
Assembly has formal legislative and granting authority, and
it elects the head of state and other key leaders, including
members of the Assembly's presidency, the head of the
Cabinet (the prime minister) and the chief judges; most
personal elections are made on the suggestion of the
country's leader Kim Jong-un.
The President of the Bureau of the Supreme People's
Assembly is also the country's titular head of state, but
has no real power. The authority of the assembly is more
formal than real; it meets a few days a year and leaves most
of the work to the presidency.
The executive power lies with the Cabinet, which is
headed by the Prime Minister and acts as a government. The
Cabinet is responsible for a number of commissions and
ministries, and it is formally responsible to the Supreme
Assembly. The prime minister presides over cabinet meetings
and is also chairman of the national defense commission; he
approves legislative decisions in the popular assembly and
decisions made by the presidency of the assembly.
Through the "Democratic Front for the Reunification of
the Fatherland," the Korean Labor Party nominates candidates
for all elections to the People's Assembly. These are chosen
without counter-candidates; turnout is officially close to
100 per cent, and very few No votes are cast. The party's
supreme body is formally the party congress; it works
through a central committee of its choice, and the committee
again through a political agency of its choice. The
Politburo chooses a presidency, and this is the most
important body of power for the party and the state. The
Secretary-General of the Central Committee is at the same
time chairman of the Bureau of the Politburo and the real
leader of the party. As tradition has been in communist
countries, the party runs a number of mass organizations it
uses to create support for the regime.
The country is divided into nine provinces (do),
three special administrative regions (chibu) and
two direct-managed cities (chikhalsi) - the capital
Pyongyang and the border town of Rason, and these again into
190 cities (si) and counties (only). They
have a system of governance similar to the national one,
with elected public assemblies as the formally supreme
bodies. In reality, the local units have little authority.
The central court directs the judiciary and oversees
lower courts; its members are elected by the Supreme
People's Assembly. At lower levels there are provincial and
local tribunals. All courts are composed of both legal
judges and lay judges, so-called "people's bishops".
Parallel to the courts, there is a separate solicitor
system, with a general solicitor as the chief executive. The
general procurator is elected by the Supreme People's
Assembly. Neither the courts nor the solicitors are
independent of the political authorities.