State Structure and Political System of North Korea
According to the Constitution, the North Korea is “a sovereign socialist state representing the interests of the entire Korean people.” The DPRK is also a “revolutionary state”. The real power in the country is in the hands of the military. The highest authority is actually the State Defense Committee headed by Kim Jong Il. North Korea is a super-totalitarian state with its own Kim Jong Il personality cult system. Check equzhou for political system of North Korea.
The Constitution of 1972 is in force with important amendments and additions in 1992 and 1998. In particular, a new chapter “Defence of the country” was introduced, the position of president, the Permanent Council of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the Central People’s Committee and the Administrative Council were abolished, the State Defense Committee was established, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly was restored and the cabinet of ministers.
Administratively, the DPRK is divided into 9 provinces: Ryangan, Chagang, North Hamgyong, South Hamgyong, North Pyongan, South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, Gangwon. Three cities of central subordination: Pyongyang, Kaesong, Nampo.
The largest cities: Pyongyang (capital), Wonsan, Sinuiju, Hamhung, Haeju, Chongjin.
The principle of public administration is democratic centralism. The supreme body of legislative power is the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPC). The highest body of executive power is the cabinet of ministers.
Head of state: according to the Constitution, he is the chairman of the presidium of the All-Union National Assembly, in reality the chairman of the State Defense Committee.
Chairman of the State Defense Committee – Kim Jong Il; Chairman of the Presidium of the WPC – Kim Yong Nam, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers – Pak Bong Ju.
The constitution declares that elections to the SNC and local people’s assemblies (provinces, cities and counties) are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. In the conditions of the North Korea, the elections are of a formal nature. Check homeagerly for democracy and human rights of North Korea.
Kim Il Sung (1912–94) was the founder and permanent leader of the DPRK for almost 50 years. In the Constitution of the North Korea, Kim Il Sung is described as “a genius of ideas, theory and practice of leadership, an all-conquering, steel commander, a great revolutionary” and declared the “eternal president” of North Korea.
Kim Jong Il (born 1942) is the son of Kim Il Sung. He received the highest power in the country from his father. In North Korean propaganda, he is called the “great commander”, “the beloved leader of the Korean people.”
Kim Jong Il has put forward a policy of building a “powerful state” and is pursuing a policy of “army priority” in order to mobilize society to preserve the existing regime.
According to the Constitution, the people’s congresses of provinces, cities and counties (legislative organs) and the relevant people’s committees (executive organs) perform economic functions. In reality, the management of economic activity is carried out by the bodies of the Defense Committee on the ground.
The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) has been the monopoly ruling party in North Korea for almost 60 years. The number of 2.5 million members. A total of 6 party congresses were held (the last in 1980). The main function of the WPK is the implementation of the Juche ideology (“man is the master of everything”).
In addition to the WPK, the country has the Social Democratic Party and the religious party Chondogyo-Cheonudan (“Young Friends Party”). These parties fully support the policy of the WPK and do not play a significant role in the political system of the North Korea.
The main public organizations: the United Trade Unions of Korea (OPK), the Union of Agricultural Workers (TUSH), the Kimirsen Socialist Youth Union (KSSM), the Union of Democratic Women (UDW). The main task of public organizations is to perform the function of “driving belts”, i.e. ensuring communication between the WPK and the population, carrying out ideological and educational work on the basis of the Juche ideology.
All parties and public organizations (more than 70 in total) are members of the United Democratic Patriotic Front (EDOF). The focus of the EDOF is the struggle for the peaceful unification of Korea on the basis of the North Korean political platform – the formation of the Koryo confederation.
The internal policy of the ruling regime is aimed at strengthening “Korean-style socialism”, building a “powerful state”, turning the country into a “fortress”. A line is being pursued to militarize society, to intensify the indoctrination of the population in the spirit of the Juche idea (“Jucheization”).
The main principles of foreign policy are “independence, peace and friendship.” The DPRK maintains friendly relations with the PRC and has an alliance treaty with it. Develops good-neighborly relations with the Russian Federation. In 2000, the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation was signed between the DPRK and the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000 paid a visit to Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visited Russia in 2001 and 2002.
The North Korea seeks to normalize relations with the United States and stands for bilateral dialogue with Washington in order to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem. In 2003, North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the resumption of its military nuclear program.
Pyongyang insists on receiving from Washington firm guarantees of its own security in exchange for the cessation of military nuclear activities.
In recent years, the North Korea has significantly expanded its foreign policy ties by establishing diplomatic relations with almost all Western European states and with the EU as a whole. The North Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 150 countries of the world.
The armed forces of the North Korea number 1.2 million people. In service is approx. 4,000 tanks, more than 600 aircraft, 11,000 guns, 800 SCAD missiles and 200 Nodon-class ballistic missiles (range over 1,000 km). The annual cost of maintaining a huge army is more than 50% of the state budget.
In connection with the nuclear crisis that erupted in 2003, the North Korea officially announced that it intends to “strengthen an independent nuclear deterrence force as a measure of self-defense.”
The North Korea has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on October 12, 1948).