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The Government and Political System in North Korea

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North Korea is formally and officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or simply North Korea in its short form. In the North Korean language, the country is called Choson minjujuui inmin konghwaguk or simply Choson. It is a communist state led by a dictator. Since its independence from the Japanese invaders in 1945 and the founding of its being the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948, the country has been governed by the Kims. Kim Il Sung is known as the great leader of North Korea and upon his death his son Kim Jong Il took over his position.

There are 9 provinces and 2 municipalities in North Korea. These provinces (do) are: Chagang-do, Hamgyong-bukto, Hamgyong-namdo, Hwanghae-bukto, Hwanghae-namdo, Kangwon-do, P’yongyan-bukto, P’yongyan-namdo, and Yanggang-do. The municipalities (si) are Nason-si and P’yongyang-si. The city of P’yongyang is the capital of North Korea.

The executive branch of the government is headed by Kim Jong Il who is the Chief of State and also the chairman of National Defense Commission which is the country’s highest administrative authority. Premier Choe Yong Rim is the head of government and is accompanied by his Vice Premiers. The cabinet called Naegak are appointed by the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), with the exception of the Minister of People’s Armed Forces.

The legislative branch of the government is the unicameral assembly called Supreme People’s Assembly or Ch’oego Inmin Hoeui which has 687 seats wherein members are elected through popular vote. These members are to serve for 5 years.

The judicial branch of the government is the Central Court where the judges are elected by the Supreme People’s Assembly.

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