DPRK political system
North Korea is dominated by the communist party, the Korean Workers’ Party, which has three million members (16 percent of the population) and runs in parallel with government organs at all levels.
The state organisation is controlled by the Central People’s Committee, consisting of a president, (the head of state) a prime minister and about 15 others which is elected by the 650 member Supreme People’s Assembly, elected in turn by universal suffrage.
The Central People’s Committee appoints and directs an Administration Council, with local government vested in nine provincial and four municipal elected People’s Assemblies. Government at all levels is dominated by the Korean Workers’ Party.
Many senior Party members also hold important positions within the state administration. It is often difficult to identify which organs actually hold the power.
The guiding philosophy of the DPRK is the Juche Idea. Sometimes know as Kim Il Sungism, it was developed by the late President and is studied and forms the guiding principle at all levels of North Korean society. In the words of the “Korean Review”, a Foreign Languages Publishing House publication:
“…Juche means that the masters of the revolution and construction are the masses of the people and they are also the motive force of the revolution and construction. In other words, one is responsible for one’s own destiny..”
“…Establishing Juche means adopting the attitude of master towards the revolution and construction of one’s country. It means proceeding from an independent and creative standpoint towards finding the solutions to the problems which arise in the process of revolution and construction”
“…The Juche Idea makes it possible to consolidate the political foundations of the state by realising an indestructible politico-ideological unity and cohesion.”
The ‘Great Leader’
The late president of the DPRK, the ‘Great leader’ Kim Il Sung was elected as head of the country after the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945. He became president in 1948 and led through the Korean War and the subsequent rebuilding of DPRK into the ‘Peoples Paradise’ of the 1960’s/70’s. His son Kim Jong Il has now taken over the positions his father held.. The ‘Great Leader’ now refers to both father and son, though it is Kim Il Sung who is revered as the father of DPRK. There is no getting away from the propaganda, songs, posters, sculptures and badges that edify them.
Marshal Kim Jong-un became North Korea’s Supreme Leader following the death of his father Kim Jong-il on 17 December 2011. He took over his father’s duties of looking at things – but also oversaw agricultural and industrial reforms.