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Korea, North Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea
    conventional short form: North Korea
    local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk
    local short form: none
    note: the North Koreans generally use the term "Choson" to refer to their country
    abbreviation: DPRK

    Data code: KN

    Government type: Communist state; one-man dictatorship

    Capital: P'yongyang

    Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 3 special cities* (si, singular and plural); Chagang-do (Chagang Province), Hamgyong-bukto (North Hamgyong Province), Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong Province), Hwanghae-bukto (North Hwanghae Province), Hwanghae-namdo (South Hwanghae Province), Kaesong-si* (Kaesong City), Kangwon-do (Kangwon Province), Namp'o-si* (Namp'o City), P'yongan-bukto (North P'yongan Province), P'yongan-namdo (South P'yongan Province), P'yongyang-si* (P'yongyang City), Yanggang-do (Yanggang Province)

    Independence: 9 September 1948, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foundation Day
    note: 15 August 1945, date of independence from the Japanese and celebrated in North Korea as National Liberation Day

    National holiday: Foundation Day, 9 September (1948)

    Constitution: adopted 1948, completely revised 27 December 1972, revised again in April 1992 and September 1998

    Legal system: based on German civil law system with Japanese influences and Communist legal theory; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: KIM Chong-il; note—in September 1998, KIM Chong-il was reelected Chairman of the National Defense Commission, a position accorded the nation's "highest administrative authority"; KIM Young-nam was named President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium and given the responsibility of representing the state and receiving diplomatic credentials
    head of government: Premier HONG Song-nam (since 5 September 1998)
    cabinet: renamed DPRK Cabinet (naegak) on 5 September 1998; was previously called the State Administrative Council; Cabinet members, except for the Minister of People's Armed Forces, are appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly
    elections: premier elected by the Supreme People's Assembly
    election results: NA

    Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 26 July 1998 (next to be held NA)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—the KWP approves a single list of candidates who are elected without opposition; minor parties hold a few seats

    Judicial branch: Central Court, judges are elected by the Supreme People's Assembly

    Political parties and leaders: major party—Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Chong-il, General Secretary]; Korean Social Democratic Party [KIM Pyong-sik, chairman]; Chondoist Chongu Party [YU Mi-yong, chairwoman]

    International organization participation: ESCAP, FAO, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note—North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, headed by YI Hyong-chol

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none

    Flag description: three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in white; on the hoist side of the red band is a white disk with a red five-pointed star

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)