North Korean Government and Juche


Propaganda poster in Wonsan area - North Korea 


Worker holding a book on Juche (주체) on a North Korean 50 won note


A provisional people's republic was established in the northern portion of Korea under Soviet auspices in Feb. 1946, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was formally established on Sept. 9, 1948, after the South had already done so.The Korean Worker's Party superseded the Communist Party in 1949. The KWP was a merger between the existing Communist Party and the National Party.  The Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland is an umbrella grouping of the KWP. Two smaller political parties are the Korean Social Democratic Party, est in 1945 as the Democratic Party, changing its name in 1981. The Chongdoist Chungu Party based on the Tonghak movement in the 19th century.

According to official statistics, Cheondoism had 2.8 million adherents in North Korea, the only tolerated religion in North Korea. These two parties are to maintain an illusion of religious freedom and multi-party democracy and never oppose the KWP on any issue.

“We Serve the People!” - North Korea 

The symbol of the Korean Worker's Party. It is composed of a hammer (workers),

writing brush (intellectuals) and a Korean sickle (peasants), crossed over a red field.


The son of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, was appointed chair of the most powerful National Defense Commission on April 9, 1993, a year before Kim Il Sung died. Kim Jong Il was named the Korea Worker's Party general secretary on Oct 8, 1997.on July 26, 1998, uncontested elections were held for the 10th Supreme People's Assembly (687 members) and Kim Jong Il was reelected as the NDC chair, confirming Kim Jong Il as the head of state, as the presidency was abolished in deference to the memory of Kim Il Sung.


 The National Emblem of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which follows the design of the Soviet Union emblem. The Soviet emblem has been replaced in Russia with the double eagle.

"Mt. Paektu and the five-point red star in the national emblem reflect the unshakable faith and will of the Korean people to carry the revolutionary cause of Juche to completion, holding President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il in high esteem. The hydroelectric power station (Sup'ung Dam, which was bombed heavily in the Korean War ) symbolizes modern self-supporting industry based on the powerful heavy industry as well as the working class.The ears of rice represent the developing rural economy and the peasantry, a reliable ally of the working class." From the DPRK official website naenara.



The North Korean Government Explained


Kim Il-sung promoted Juche ("self-reliance"), a slogan he began to develop in the late 1950s and which he ultimately made North Korea's official ideology, displacing Marxism-Leninism. In fact, the North Korean type of government evolved into a de facto combination highly centralized communist state and absolute monarchy or hereditary dictatorship with a heavy Stalinist influence. The government under the absolute control of the communist Korean Workers' Party (KWP), to which all government officials belong.


The flag of North Korea was adopted on September 8, 1948. The broad red band symbolizes revolutionary traditions; the narrow white bands stands for purity, strength, and dignity; the blue bands signify sovereignty, peace, and friendship; the red star represents socialism


North Korean Constitution



From 1948 to 1972 the head of state of North Korea was the chair of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (최고인민회의 Choe Ko In Min Hoe Ui ). The Supreme People's Assembly members are one deputy elected from each of 687 constituencies, elected to five-year termsIn the constitution of 1972, supreme executive authority was given to the president of the republic. Under constitutional changes on Sept. 5, 1998, the state presidency was abolished. The authority to determine war and peace passed from the

Supreme People's Assembly to the ten member National Defense Committee, the chair of which ( Kim Jong Il, late Kim Jong Un) serves as head of state in keeping with Kim Jong Il's military first policy.


All news media is censored by the KWP. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is the government news service. The DPRK Radio and television Broadcasting Committee contrals all stations. The Labor Daily newspaper(Rodong Shinmun) is an organ of the KWP Central Committee. Those with party membership are allowed to vote at 17 .


Preamble of the North Korean Constitution

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a chuch'e-based socialist fatherland that embodies the idea and leadership of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung.The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung is the founder of the DPRK and the father of socialist Korea.Comrade Kim Il Sung founded the immortal chuch'e idea, and by organizing and leading the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle under its banner, established glorious revolutionary traditions and achieved the historic cause of the fatherland's liberation. He founded the DPRK on the basis of laying a solid foundation for building an independent and sovereign state in the fields of politics, economy, culture, and military... Click to read the entire constitution



The unicameral Supreme People's Assembly is elected from KWP members . The 11th SPA was elected on August 3, 2003. The  meeting of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly is expected to pass legislation to change the non-standing National Defense Commission into a standing organization and bring it to the forefront of the government.


Administratively, North Korea is divided into nine provinces and four special municipalities ( Pyongyang, Nampo, Nanjin Sonbong and Kaesong ).


North Korea had the closest foreign relations with the Soviet Union until 1964, when a pro-Chinese period came into being until the Cultural revolution of the 1960s, when North Korea proclaimed the juche policy . In Sept 1995 Russia terminated a defense treaty dating from 1961and concluded a friendship treaty with North Korea in 2000.



 National Anthem of North Korea - "Aegukka" (Patriotic Song) also known as Let Morning Shine "Ach'imun pinnara" Includes lyrics in both Korean (with Han-Geul character support) and English. Written in 1947 by Pak Seyong. It does not  mention Kim Il Sung


Parade on the founding of the Democratic People's Republic  on Sept. 9, 1948


The controlling political party is the  Korean Worker's Party, founded in August 1948. The party had three million members in 1990 and the main decision-making body is the Central Committe. A 32 member Political Bureau is chosen from the Central Committe. Above this is a five member standing committee. The top position is the Secretary General of the Central Committee.Kim Ki-Nam is the current Secretary of the Central Committee, as of October 2007.  The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) was established to be the supreme organ of the state, but is nothing more than a rubber stamp assembly.The Central Committee is where all laws and policies orginate. In practice, the highest decisions are made by the National Defence Commission of North Korea which was led by its Chairman, the late Kim Jong-il, until his death on the 17th of December 2011.As in most Soviet-style party states, membership of the WPK is essential for any DPRK citizen who aspires to a post of any seniority in any government, management, educational or cultural institution. All senior military officers must also be WPK members.


 An election for local people's assemblies is now going on throughout the DPRK.Sub-constituency No. 93 of Constituency No. 57 in Pyongyang is crowded with voters ranging from old men and women to young people taking part in election for the first time.Kim Yong, chairman of the election committee, told KCNA that the election is of weighty significance as it is being held when all the Korean people have turned out in the effort for glorifying the hundred-year history of Kim Il Sung's Korea. July 24, 2011 .


The central government are elected by the SPA, following the dictates of the supreme leader. Provincial, municipal and county people's committee's members are elected by the people.North Koreans receive ballots that leave them with little choice but to approve candidates who have already been selected by officials. In a 2007 local assembly vote, candidates were elected with total support and voter turnout was near 100 percent.




 The Juche Era Produced by Bulgarian TV this unseen film manages to travel throughout the country. It provides an enthralling and unique behind the scenes view of a country which rarely allows outsiders to see inside. Trailer .


The goal of Juche is to make North Korea strong enough to resist foreign invasion and capitalist intervention. The North Korean people were making use of domestic materials, technology, and innovations instead of becoming dependent upon those from outside the nation. Juche urged the North Korean people to resist foreign invasion by launching a series of mass-campaigns designed to strengthen the country economically, militarily, and culturally. Kim himself many visits to factories and farms to exhort the workers and farmers and give on the spot guidance, often on the most minute details. With the Chollima ( Chollima  is a mythical horse common to Siberian cultures and originating from Central Asia. The horse is said to be too swift to be mounted ) movement started in Dec 1956 work teams who surpassed quotas were awarded the title Chollima workteams. By the time of the Fourth Party Congress in 1961 Kim could claim some successes: there was no longer any challenges to his position, there were no foreign troops in North Korea,the country under the five year plans was recovering while the South was in turmoil with a military coup and riots.


The structure of the government is described in the Constitution of North Korea, the latest version of which is from 2009 and officially rejects North Korea's founding ideology of communism in favor of Juche. The governing party by law is the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a coalition of the Workers' Party of Korea and two other smaller parties, the Korean Social Democratic Party and the Chondoist Chongu Party. These parties nominate all candidates for office and hold all seats in the Supreme People's Assembly. The Branches of government are :Executive--President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (chief of state); Chairman of the National Defense Commission (head of government). Legislative--Supreme People's Assembly. Judicial--Central Court; provincial, city, county, and military courts.


Badges and the Personality Cult




In order to maintain control and prevent dissent, North Korea a Confucian like rank system in which men were ranked higher than women,urban workers higher than farmers. The top and most trusted class is called the core class, mostly Korean Workers' Party members,government officials and families of those who fought alongside Kim Il Sung. The middle class is sometimes labeled the wavering class, they are not completely trusted but have committed no crimes against the state. the bottom class is called the hostile class. Those thus labeled were often swept up in purges . There is also a vast network of secret police, with at least one or two in every work unit . The type of badge worn indicates a persons status and rank. Starting in the 60s and influenced by the Cultural Revolution in China, Kim was presented as the suryoung (수령), or the Great Leader and out did Stalin in the cult of Personality department .Every building,classroom and home has portraits of  Kim Il Sung and his son and current leader, Kim Jong-il.Every North Korean student takes classes in Kim's life and the juche ideal.


65 foot tall statue of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, if you visit North Korea your tour group will stop here first and place flowers at his feet. Constructed in 1972 and originally covered in gold leaf, but removed after objections by the Chinese.


North Korea Unification Policy


The Unification Flag is a flag designed to represent all of Korea when both North and South Korea participate in sporting events.


The Monument to Three Charters for National Reunification that straddles the Reunification Expressway between Panmunjom and Pyongyang, built in 2001


North Korea's approach to reunification through a federal structure retaining each side's leadership and systems called the 'Koryo Democratic Confederation' in which their respective political systems would initially remain and U.S. forces withdraw from Korea



 Reconstruction & Growth

The 1960s


 Rise of military,

The Blue House raid,

USS Pueblo

Economic Downturn

Sino-Soviet Split

 The 1970s