Panorama of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Location and Territory

Korea is located in the Korean peninsula extending from the east of Eurasia towards the Pacific Ocean. It is bounded by continent on the north and by sea on the east, west and south.

It lies between 124° 10ʹ 45ʺ E. (western tip of Pidan Island of Sindo County, North Phyongan Province) and 131° 52ʹ 22ʺ E. (eastern tip of Tok Islets of Ullung County, North Kyongsang Province), and between 33° 06ʹ 45ʺ N. (southern tip of Mara Island of Sogwipho City, Jeju Province) and 43° 00ʹ 33ʺ N. (northern tip of Phungso-ri of Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province). The peninsula, excluding islands, lies between 124° 18ʹ 38ʺ E. (western tip of Jinhung District of Ryongchon County, North Phyongan Province) and 130° 41ʹ 45ʺ E. (eastern tip of Uam-dong, Sonbong area in the City of Rason), and between 34° 17ʹ 31ʺ N. (southern tip of Songji Sub-county of Haenam County, South Jolla Province) and 43° 00ʹ 33ʺ N. (northern tip of Phungso-ri of Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province).

The span of longitude in which Korea is situated is about 8°. Latitudinally, the peninsula extends for about 10° southwards from the middle of the temperate zone in the northern hemisphere.

The territory consists of the Korean peninsula and 3, 644 islands around it. Its total area is 224, 252 square kilometres, inclusive of 5, 851 square kilometres of islands. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (northern part of the Republic) has an area of 123, 214 square kilometres and southern part of the Republic 101, 038 square kilometres.

In terms of the size of territory, Korea ranks 84th among about 200 independent states in the world.

The territorial waters stretch seawards for 12 nautical miles from the starting line of counting.

The air space is as high as the globally-recognized lowest orbit of artificial earth satellite.

Korea is very long in circumference, compared with the size of its territory. The peninsula, exclusive of islands, is 9, 313.9 kilometres in circumference, of which the coastline is 7, 771.1 kilometres long and the land boundary line 1, 536.8 kilometres long (from the estuary of the Tuman River to that of the Amnok River). The longest distance from the north to the south (from Phungso-ri of Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province to Mara Island of Sogwipho, Jeju Province) is 1, 144.6 kilometres.

 

Geography

Topography

Korea is a mountainous with the land standing an average of 442 meters above sea level. The highlands are 176, 404 square kilometres (78.7% of the whole territory) and the lowlands are 47, 848 square kilometres (21.3% of the whole territory). Topographically, the land is high on the north and the east and gets lower southwards and westwards.

The Great Paektu Mountains stretch from Mt. Paektu to Kujae Peak on the south coast constituting the spinal mountain range and spreading many branches, thereby forming a system of mountain ranges. Janggun Peak (2, 750 meters above sea level) of Mt. Paektu is the highest peak in Korea.

Korea abounds in uplands and hollows including the Paektu, Paengmu and Kaema Plateaus as well as the Kanggye and Hoeryong Basins.

There are many beautiful and famous caverns and caves such as Ryongmun Cavern and Songam Cave.

Valleys are developed along plenty of rivers and streams and slopes hold a wide area. Pyongyang, Ryongchon, Yoltusamcholli and other plains are mostly found in the lower reaches of long rivers on the west and south coasts and coastal areas.

The coastline is long and very indented.

 

Climate

Korea is located in the temperate zone and, therefore, all four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter are clearly distinct.

The average annual temperature is 10 degrees centigrade and average annual precipitation is 1, 000 to 1, 200 millimetres.

The climate is influenced by typical seasonal winds. In winter clear weather prevails due to the cold northwest winds and in summer, south and southeast winds blow, bringing rainfall and sustained sultry weather, whereas in spring and autumn, the continental and oceanic seasonal winds alternate each other, thereby creating uneven directions of wind and prevalent warm and clear weather.

 

Hydrology

Compared with its size of territory, Korea has many rivers and streams and a dense river network.

There are thousands of small and medium rivers. The Amnok, Tuman, Taedong, Raktong and Han Rivers are called five long rivers in Korea and those plus the Chongchon, Ryesong, Kum, Somjin and Yongsan Rivers are called ten long rivers.

The Amnok river (803 kilometres) is the longest in Korea, having the widest area of basin (64, 740 square kilometres).

There are over 100 natural lakes and 1, 700 artificial lakes.

The latter is used for irrigation, power generation, flood control, industrial and urban water supply, transport, fish farming, landscaping and so on.

Noted artificial lakes are Lakes Suphung, Jangjin and Thaechon for power generation and Lakes Unpha, Sohung, Yonphung, Thaesong and Paekma for irrigation and Lake Kumsong for flood control.

There are many mineral springs. North Hamgyong and South Hwanghae Provinces have lots of hot spas, whereas North Phyongan and Jagang Provinces are blessed with mineral water. There are one hundred and several scores of famous hot springs including Paektu, Yangdok, Talchon, Kyongsong and Onpho spas and Kangso, Ongnyu, Myohyangsan, Sogwangsa and Yodok mineral waters. All have bicarbonate as the main component, of which spas have more sodium bicarbonate and mineral water more calcium bicarbonate as their main component.

 

Sea

Korea is a maritime country bounded by sea on three sides—east, west and south—where there are the East Sea, West Sea and South Sea of Korea.

Tidelands are remarkably developed: they cover an area of 4, 724.69 square kilometres on the west coast and 328.41 square kilometres on the south coast.

As tidelands are reclaimed in the northern part of the Republic, the territorial area increases, but islands decrease. The continental shelf is also extensive. The overall area of the West Sea of Korea is the continental shelf 118 metres deep. The area of the continental shelf in the South Sea of Korea amounts to 136, 900 square kilometres.

 

History

Primitive Ages

Korean nation originated in the Taedong River basin centring on Pyongyang in the primitive ages. The fossil bones of animals eaten by ape-men and stone implements were unearthed at the Komunmoru Site in Sangwon County, North Hwanghae Province, near Pyongyang. They date back to the Lower Palaeolithic era, or one million years ago. The primitive men lived in groups, forming a primitive community, the first social organizations.

The remains of “Ryokpho man”, “Tokchon man” and “Hwadae man” who had lived in the Middle Palaeolithic era were also discovered. “Hwadae man”, who was recently excavated in Soksong-ri, Hwadae County, North Hamgyong Province was a paleoanthropic man who had lived 300, 000 years ago.

The remains of “Sungnisan man”, “Mandal man” and “Hwangju man” who were neanthropic men in the Upper Palaeolithic era, show the anthropological succession from ape-men to paleoanthropic and neanthropic men in Korea in the primitive ages and provide the scientific evidence that the Taedong River basin centring on Pyongyang is one of the cradles of humankind.

The Korean Homo sapiens in the Neolithic era had lived in dugouts, farming and raising domestic animals. The ancestors of the Korean nation had already entered the Bronze Age in the latter half of the fourth millennium B.C. and created the advanced ancient civilization, Taedonggang Civilization, early in the 30th century B.C.

The long primitive ages ended with the emergence of state in the wake of the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy.

 

Ancient Times

Ancient Joson, the first state of the Korean nation, was founded by Tangun. It was founded in the early 30th century B.C. and existed for approximately 3, 000 years until 108 B.C. It was a powerful state in the East which occupied a vast area of Northeast Asia, centring on Pyongyang. The appearance of Tangun’s Joson put an end to the long primitive ages and the Korean nation established one of the first states in the East, greeting the era of civilization. The emergence of Ancient Joson almost coincides with that of ancient states built in the Nile River basin and Mesopotamia known as the cradles of human civilization.

In the mid-15th century B.C. Puyo occupying vast area of the Songhua River basin and Kuryo covering the area comprising the Hun River and the middle reaches of the Amnok River emerged as ancient states respectively, seceding from Tangun’s Joson. In the 12th century B.C. Jinguk was also established in the central and southern part of the Korean peninsula.

People of the ancient states did farming mainly and increased productivity by developing handicraft, stockbreeding, fishing, etc.

They developed bronze metallurgy from the early period and made lute-shaped daggers and spearheads, narrow bronze daggers and spearheads, bronze dirks, axes, chisels and other weapons and tools, such trinkets as fine-striped mirrors and a variety of harness.

In the later period of ancient Joson, ironware was widely used with the progress of iron and steel making technologies.

The Sinji characters indigenous to the Korean nation were used; simple philosophical views on the origin of the world were advanced, astrometeorology was developed and the techniques of weaving silk, hemp and woollen fabrics were at a high level.

Ancient Joson also witnessed a boost in song and dance, instrumental music, acrobatics, painting, sculpture and industrial arts, and bronze and gilt-bronze craftsmanship was in a considerably high standard.

 

Middle Ages

Through the struggle of the people for independence slave states in Korea began to give way to feudal ones from the early 3rd century B.C. Koguryo was the first feudal state of the Korean nation, which was founded in 277 B.C. Ko Ju Mong was the founder-king. Koguryo had made rapid progress in the military affairs, the economy, culture and other fields. In the mid-1st century Koguryo occupied a territory extending to 800 kilometres in all directions. After the 4th century it expanded its territory southward. In 427 it moved its capital to Pyongyang from Ji An.

In those days Koguryo was a powerful country with a vast territory of 2, 400 kilometres from east to west and some 2, 000 kilometres from north to south.

In the southern area of the Korean peninsula Paekje was established in the late 1st century B.C. and Silla was founded in the middle of the early 1st century. The period until the mid-7th century when the three states existed is called the period of Three Kingdoms.

Paekje lasted until A.D. 660 and Koguryo until A.D. 668. In 698 Palhae came into being as the successor to Koguryo in the northern area and thereby the kingdom and later Silla in the southern area co-existed until the 10th century.

Afterwards, later Silla, later Paekje and Thaebongguk, called the later Three Kingdoms in history, were existent together in the former territory of later Silla.

In 918 Wang Kon of Thaebongguk established a new dynasty and merged it with later Paekje and later Silla and embraced the people of Palhae in the north, which was ruined by foreign forces. As a result, the first united state of the Korean nation emerged.

He set up the capital at Kaegyong (today’s Kaesong) and named the country Koryo in the meaning of succeeding Koguryo.

Koryo made it the mainstay of external policy to win back the old territory of Koguryo and channelled big efforts into building up Pyongyang, the then capital of Koguryo, politically, economically and militarily.

Koryo witnessed a remarkable growth in productivity, culture and other fields, with the result that it was widely known as “Corea” to the world.

It existed for nearly 500 years until 1392, the year of establishment of the feudal Joson dynasty, the last feudal state of the Korean nation.

And feudal Joson lasted for over 500 years until it was deprived of national sovereignty by the Japanese imperialists.

 

Modern Times

The modern history of Korea started with the struggle to beat back the invasions of the capitalist powers in the 1860s century and put an end to the feudal ruling system. The Korean people burnt down a foreign aggressor ship which intruded into Pyongyang along the Taedong River in 1866. This was a prelude to the modern history of Korea. In the wake of this incident, the Korean people repelled the invasions of French and British fleets and Japanese warships one after another.

However, in 1876 the feudal rulers infected with flunkyist subservience concluded the unequal Kanghwado Treaty with Japan with the result that Korea was reduced to a colony of Japan.

Vigorous struggles were launched against the Japanese aggressors and the feudal rulers who yielded to them. Typical example is a mutiny in 1882. Meanwhile, in 1884 the Enlightenment Group led by Kim Ok Kyun carried out a coup in the year Kapsin, the first bourgeois reformist movement in Korea, which was followed by the Kabo Reform in 1894.

Entering the period of the late 19th century-early 20th century, fierce anti-aggression and anti-feudal struggles, including the Kabo Peasant War in 1894, were waged in different parts of Korea under the banner of “Defending the country and providing welfare for the people” and “Driving out Westerners and the Japanese”, dealing telling blows to the Japanese imperialists and the feudal rulers.

Through the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) the Japanese imperialists drove the forces of Qing China and Russia out of Korea and then stepped up the invasion of Korea.

They fully deprived the Korea of its rights to diplomacy and took away its real power as a whole by fabricating the “Ulsa Five-Point treaty” in November 1905, and cooked up the “Korea-Japan Annexation Treaty” in August 1910.

The Korean people never admitted this brigandish “treaty” and conducted ceaseless struggle against the colonial rule of Japanese imperialists.

The nationwide anti-Japanese popular uprising that started on March 1, Juche 8 (1919) delivered a heavy blow to the Japanese invaders.

Entering the 1920s when the working class took an active part in the struggle and their revolutionary idea was spread widely, the national liberation movement gained further momentum.

The Korean Communist Party was founded in Juche 14 (1925), but it was dissolved in three years due to oppression by the Japanese imperialists and the disputes of factional elements.

In the mid-1920s the Korean people eagerly longed for the appearance of an outstanding leader who would save the fate of their nation at stake and lead the Korean revolution to victory.

Out of the urgent demand of the times and the desire of the nation, the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung embarked on the road of revolutionary struggle, which signalled the start of a new history of modern Korea.

 

Korea Today

Leaders of Korea Today

 

Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung

Entering the modern times, Korea with 5, 000-year-long history and brilliant culture gradually weakened in national power owing to the policy of sycophancy and dependence on outside forces of the feudal Joson dynasty and was reduced to a theatre of competition of big powers for influence. Finally, it was placed under the Japanese military occupation since 1905.

It was the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung who saved the Korean people from the miserable fate of a ruined nation.

He was born in Mangyongdae, Pyongyang on April 15, Juche 1 (1912) and embarked on the road of revolutionary struggle for Korea’s liberation in his teens. In the course of groping for the road of the Korean revolution, he authored the Juche idea and the Songun idea (army-first idea) and commanded the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle for two decades under its banner, finally achieving the historic cause of Korea’s liberation on August 15 Juche 34 (1945).

After his triumphal return to the liberated homeland, he founded the Workers’ Party of Korea without delay, carried out the democratic reforms, including the land reform, nationalization of key industrial establishments and enforcement of the Law on Sex Equality, and founded a regular armed force. Based on these achievements, he founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the first people’s democratic state in the East, on September 9, Juche 37 (1948).

He creditably safeguarded the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK in the Korean War (1950-1953) unleashed by the imperialists in their attempt to stifle the two-year-old Republic in its cradle. He carried out the post-war rehabilitation and the socialist revolution in a short period and led the socialist construction of several stages to victory, thus turning the DPRK into a socialist power, independent in politics, self-sufficient in the economy and self-reliant in defence.

He regarded “The People Are My God” as his lifetime motto and his benevolent politics got a people-centred socialist system deeply rooted in the DPRK.

He advanced the fundamental principles and ways for Korea’s reunification, including the Three Principles for National Reunification, the Ten-Point Programme for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation and the Plan for the founding of the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo (DFRK), and devoted his all for the national reunification cause until the last moment of his life.

He defined independence, peace and friendship as the basic ideals of the DPRK’s foreign policy and enhanced its international prestige through his energetic external activities. Working as head of state and veteran of world politics for nearly half a century, he opened up a new era of independence and made immortal contributions to developing the socialist and non-aligned movements.

It is not fortuitous that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said that President Kim Il Sung was greater than the three American Presidents who had represented the nation-building and destiny of the United States – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln – put together.

The DPRK conferred the title of Generalissimo on him on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of his birth. Though he passed away on July 8, Juche 83 (1994), he is always alive in the hearts of the Korean people and the world progressives as the founding father of socialist Korea, pioneer of the cause of independence of humankind, eternal President of the DPRK and the Sun of Juche.

 

Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il

The great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il was born in Mt. Paektu on February 16, Juche 31 (1942).

He spent his childhood hearing the gun reports of the anti-Japanese war. He devoted his whole life to faithfully supporting the idea and cause of the great leader President Kim Il Sung.

He started his Songun-based revolutionary leadership with the inspection of the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105th Guards Tank Division of the Korean People’s Army on August 25, Juche 49 (1960). Since starting working at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on June 19, Juche 53 (1964), he led the country for half a century, performing immortal exploits for the times and the history.

He formulated the revolutionary idea of the great President Kim Il Sung as Kimilsungism and added lustre to it as the eternal guiding ideology of the WPK and the DPRK. He proclaimed it as the ultimate programme of the WPK to model the whole society on Kimilsungism and wisely organized and led the work for its realization. He closely rallied broad sections of the masses around the WPK by administering the benevolent and all-embracing politics, and remarkably strengthened the driving force of the socialist cause by realizing oneness of the army and people in ideas and fighting spirit.

After the demise of President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il set an example in realizing the cause of immortalizing the leader and made sure that the President’s lifetime instructions were carried forward as the guidelines in all fields of revolution and construction so as to make his life and exploits shine for ages.

In the closing years of the last century when the DPRK was bearing the brunt of the anti-socialist offensive of allied imperialist forces, he formulated Songun politics as the basic political mode of socialism and administered it in an all-round way. He developed the Korean People’s Army into an invincible army, built up the self-reliant and modern defence industry in every way and realized the arming of all the people and the fortification of the whole country on a high level.

Decade after decade, he kindled the torch of a new revolutionary upsurge and led the drive to flare up the flames of the industrial revolution in the new century, with the result that the DPRK could demonstrate its might as a manufacturer and launcher of artificial satellites and a science and technology power that has full command of CNC technology.

True to the President’s instructions for Korea’s reunification, he established the Three Charters for National Reunification and saw to it that the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration were adopted between the north and the south of Korea to usher in a new era of independent reunification movement advancing under the ideal of By Our Nation Itself.

He expanded and developed the relations of friendship and cooperation with other countries aspiring after independence with his seasoned diplomatic strategy and energetic foreign activities and thus made great contributions to safeguarding the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and the rest of the world.

He continued his forced march for field guidance day and night with an indomitable will and superhuman energy, regarding “The People Are My God” as his motto. He passed away in a running train on December 17, Juche 100 (2011).

After his demise, the DPRK conferred the title of Generalissimo of the DPRK on him and held him in high esteem as the eternal General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the eternal Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission.

 

Respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un

The revolutionary cause of Juche pioneered by the great President Kim Il Sung and developed by the great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il is being carried forward by the respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un.

The respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un is possessed of unbounded loyalty to the revolutionary cause of Juche, outstanding leadership ability, matchless courage and pluck and popular traits.

With his ennobling loyalty and noble obligation, the respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un opened up a new phase in implementing the cause of immortalizing the leader. Accordingly, the beaming image of the great Leader Kim Jong Il has been implanted forever in the minds of the people and the sacred history of his revolutionary activities continues without let-up.

Thanks to his energetic ideological and theoretical activities and wise leadership, the great leaders’ revolutionary ideology was formulated as Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, and the Korean people are confidently marching straight forward along the road of independence and socialism.

Having the noble outlook on people of respecting the people by cherishing them as the august images of the great leaders who believed in people as in heaven during their entire lifetime, the respected Supreme Leader administers politics of loving the people in order to translate their beautiful dreams and ideals into reality. He also shows paternal affection for and trust in the people to rally them as one firmly around the WPK.

Upon being appointed as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the DPRK, he has inspected one army unit after another without rest, which is giving a powerful impetus to the enhancement of the country’s self-reliant defence capability and the victorious advance of the cause of socialism.

Today, by adhering to the principle of self-reliance and self-development, the Korean people have erected monumental edifices one after another, further propelled the work of putting the national economy on a Juche-oriented, modern, IT and scientific footing and ceaselessly made miraculous breakthroughs in going beyond the cutting edge, thus opening a bright prospect for fully demonstrating the might of their self-supporting economy; they also have achieved continuous eye-opening successes in the sectors of science, education, public health, literature and the arts, and sports.

At the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea held in April Juche 107 (2018), the respected Supreme Leader advanced a new strategic line of concentrating all the efforts on socialist economic construction.

The Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, possessed of ennobling compatriotic affection and seasoned political abilities, ensured that three rounds of inter-Korean summit were held in April, May and September Juche 107 (2018) and the Panmunjom Declaration and September Pyongyang Joint Declaration were made public at the summit meetings and talks, thus bringing about a turning-point for the north-south relations and opening a new era of national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity.

He has thwarted the imperialists’ high-handedness and war moves, and rendered an outstanding contribution to ensuring global peace and stability and promoting the cause of independence for mankind, thereby winning international admiration and praise as the great guardian of justice.

In reflection of the people’s unanimous will and desire the respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un was elected Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, and he was awarded the title of Marshal of the DPRK.

 

Politics

Capital and Administrative Districts

Capital

The capital of the DPRK is Pyongyang.

In Pyongyang, the cradle land of the Korean nation and the heart of the Korean revolution, there are Mangyongdae where President Kim Il Sung, the founding father of socialist Korea, was born and fostered the lofty aim of revolution, and the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in which President Kim Il Sung and General Kim Jong Il are preserved in their lifetime appearances.

There are also the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea that organizes and guides all victories of the Korean people and the Government of the DPRK.

Pyongyang is not only the political centre of the country but also the hub of science, education and culture, and it has modern heavy industry, light industry and developed agriculture.

 

Administrative Districts

The DPRK’s administrative system consists of nine provinces, four special municipalities, 200-odd cities (districts) and counties, thousands of ris, and workers’ districts and dongs.

 

State Political System

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is an independent socialist State representing the interests of all the Korean people.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is only guided by the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism in state building and activities.

The social system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a people-centred system under which the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall champion the democratic national rights of the Koreans overseas and their rights and interests recognized by the international law.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of foreigners in its territory.

 

State Organs

The Supreme People’s Assembly

The Supreme People’s Assembly is the highest organ of State power in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Legislative power is exercised by the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The Supreme People’s Assembly is composed of deputies elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

The Supreme People’s Assembly is elected for a term of five years.

The Supreme People’s Assembly has the authority to:

1. amend or supplement the Constitution;

2. adopt, amend or supplement laws;

3. approve the major laws adopted by the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, when the Supreme People’s Assembly is not in session;

4. establish the basic principles of the State’s domestic and foreign policies;

5. elect or recall the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;

6. elect or recall the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

7. elect or recall the First Vice-Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and members of the State Affairs Commission on the recommendation of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;

8. elect or recall the Vice-Presidents, Secretary General and members of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

9. elect or recall the Premier of the Cabinet;

10. appoint the Vice-Premiers, Chairmen, Ministers and other members of the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Premier of the Cabinet;

11. appoint or remove the Prosecutor General of the Central Public Prosecutors Office;

12. elect or recall the President of the Central Court;

13. elect or recall the Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and members of the Committees of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

14. deliberate and approve the State plan for the development of the national economy and the report on its implementation;

15. deliberate and approve the State budget and the report on its implementation;

16. hear a report on the work of the Cabinet and the central bodies when necessary, and adopt relevant measures;

17. decide on ratification and nullification of treaties suggested to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

 

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, who represents the State.

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is elected at the Supreme People’s Assembly according to the unanimous will of all the Korean people. The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not elected as a deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The term of office of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and commands and directs all the armed forces of the State.

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has the following duties and authority to:

1. direct the overall affairs of the State;

2. personally guide the work of the State Affairs Commission;

3. make public the laws and ordinances of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the major decrees and decisions of the State Affairs Commission;

4. appoint or remove key cadres of the State;

5. appoint or recall diplomatic representatives accredited to other countries;

6. ratify or rescind major treaties concluded with other countries;

7. exercise the right of granting special pardon;

8. proclaim a state of emergency, a state of war and mobilization order within the country;

9. organize and guide the National Defence Committee in wartime.

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issues orders.

The Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is accountable to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

 

The State Affairs Commission

The State Affairs Commission is the supreme policy-oriented leadership body of State power.

The State Affairs Commission consists of the Chairman, First Vice-Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and members.

The term of office of the State Affairs Commission is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The State Affairs Commission has the following duties and authority to:

1. discuss and decide important policies of the State;

2. exercise supervision over the fulfilment of the orders of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the decrees, decisions and directives of the State Affairs Commission, and take measures for their fulfilment;

3. abrogate decisions and directives of the State organs which run counter to the orders of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the decrees, decisions and directives of the State Affairs Commission;

4. appoint or remove Vice-Premiers, Chairmen, Ministers and other members of the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Premier of the Cabinet when the Supreme People’s Assembly is not in session.

The State Affairs Commission issues the decrees, decisions and directives.

The State Affairs Commission is accountable to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

 

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly is the highest organ of State power when the Supreme People’s Assembly is not in session.

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly consists of the President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary General and members.

The term of office of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly has the following duties and authority to:

1. convene sessions of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

2. deliberate and adopt the new draft bills and regulations and amendments and supplements to the current laws and regulations raised in the intervals between sessions of the Supreme People’s Assembly and obtain the approval of the next session of the Supreme People’s Assembly for major laws which are adopted and enforced;

3. deliberate and approve the State plan for the development of the national economy, the State budget and plans for their adjustment raised for unavoidable reasons in the intervals between sessions of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

4. interpret the Constitution as well as current laws and regulations;

5. supervise law observance by the State organs and take relevant measures;

6. rescind the decisions and directives of the State bodies which run counter to the Constitution, orders of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, laws, ordinances and decisions of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the decrees, decisions and directives of the State Affairs Commission, and the decrees, decisions and directives of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and suspend the implementation of unwarranted decisions of local People’s Assemblies;

7. conduct the election of deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly and organize the elections of deputies to the local People’s Assemblies;

8. work with the deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly;

9. work with the Committees of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

10. set up or abolish Commissions and Ministries of the Cabinet;

11. appoint or remove members of Committees of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly;

12. elect or recall the Judges and People’s Assessors of the Central Court;

13. approve or nullify treaties concluded with other countries;

14. institute decorations, medals, titles of honour and diplomatic ranks and confer decorations, medals and titles of honour;

15. grant general amnesties;

16. establish or alter administrative units and districts;

17. conduct external activities including contacts with foreign parliaments and inter-parliamentary organizations.

The President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly organizes and guides the work of the Presidium.

The President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, in the name of the State, receives the credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives accredited by foreign countries

 

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is the administrative and executive body of State power and organ of overall State administration.

The Cabinet consists of the Premier, Vice-Premiers, Chairmen, Ministers and other members as required.

The term of office of the Cabinet is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The Cabinet has the following duties and authority to:

1. adopt measures for the implementation of State policies;

2. adopt, amend or supplement the regulations on State administration on the basis of the Constitution and the laws;

3. direct the work of the Commissions and Ministries of the Cabinet, organs directly under its authority and local People’s Committees;

4. establish or abolish organs directly under its authority, major administrative and economic bodies and enterprises, and adopt measures for improving State administration bodies;

5. draft the State plan for the development of the national economy and adopt measures to put it into effect;

6. compile the State budget and adopt measures to implement it;

7. organize and execute the work of industry, agriculture, construction, transport, post and telecommunications, commerce, foreign trade, land administration, municipal administration, education, science, culture, health service, physical culture and sport, labour administration, protection of environment, tourism, and so on;

8. adopt measures to strengthen the monetary and banking system;

9. inspect and control the establishment of order in State administration;

10. adopt measures to maintain public order, protect the property and interests of the State and social, cooperative organizations, and safeguard the rights of citizens;

11. conclude treaties with foreign countries and conduct external affairs;

12. rescind the decisions and directives of administrative and economic bodies which run counter to the decisions and directives of the Cabinet.

The Premier of the Cabinet organizes and guides the work of the Cabinet.

The Premier of the Cabinet represents the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

 

The Local People’s Assembly

The People’s Assembly of a province (or municipality directly under central authority), city (or district) or county is the local organ of State power.

The local People’s Assembly consists of deputies elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

The term of office of the People’s Assembly of a province (or municipality directly under central authority), city (or district) or county is four years.

The local People’s Assembly has the following duties and authority to:

1. deliberate and approve the local plan for the development of the national economy and the report on its implementation;

2. deliberate and approve the local budget and the report on its implementation;

3. adopt measures to observe State laws in the area concerned;

4. elect or recall the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, Secretary General and members of the People’s Committee at the corresponding level;

5. elect or recall the Judges and People’s Assessors of the Court at the corresponding level;

6. rescind unwarranted decisions and directives of the People’s Committee at the corresponding level and the People’s Assemblies and People’s Committees at lower levels.

 

The Local People’s Committee

The People’s Committee of a province (or municipality directly under central authority), city (or district) or county exercises the function of the local organ of State power when the People’s Assembly at the corresponding level is not in session and the administrative and executive organ of State power at the corresponding level.

The local People’s Committee consists of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, Secretary and members.

The term of office of the local People’s Committee is the same as that of the corresponding People’s Assembly.

The local People’s Committee has the following duties and authority to:

1. convene sessions of the People’s Assembly;

2. organize the election of deputies to the People’s Assembly;

3. work with the deputies to the People’s Assembly;

4. implement the orders of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the laws, ordinances and decisions of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the decrees, decisions and directives of the State Affairs Commission, the decrees, decisions and directives of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the decisions and directives of the Cabinet and the Commissions and Ministries of the Cabinet, the decisions and directives of the corresponding local People’s Assembly and the People’s Committees at higher levels;

5. organize and carry out all administrative affairs in the given area;

6. draft the local plan for the development of the national economy and adopt measures to implement it;

7. compile the local budget and adopt measures for its implementation;

8. adopt measures to maintain public order, protect the property and interests of the State and social, cooperative organizations and safeguard the rights of citizens in the given area;

9. inspect and control the establishment of order in State administration in the given area;

10. direct the work of the People’s Committees at lower levels;

11. rescind unwarranted decisions and directives of the People’s Committees at lower levels, and suspend the implementation of unwarranted decisions of the People’s Assemblies at lower levels.

 

The Public Prosecutors Office and the Court

Investigation and prosecution are conducted by the Central Public Prosecutors Office, the Public Prosecutors Offices of a province (or municipality directly under central authority), city (or district) or county and the Special Public Prosecutors Office.

The term of office of the Prosecutor General of the Central Public Prosecutors Office is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Public prosecutors are appointed or removed by the Central Public Prosecutors Office.

The functions of the Public Prosecutors Office are to:

1. ensure the strict observance of State laws by institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens;

2. ensure that the decisions and directives of State bodies conform with the Constitution, the orders of the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the laws, ordinances and decisions of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the decrees, decisions and directives of the State Affairs Commission, the decrees, decisions and directives of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and the decisions and directives of the Cabinet;

3. identify and institute legal proceedings against criminals and offenders in order to protect the State power of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the socialist system, the property of the State and social, cooperative organizations, personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and the people’s lives and property.

Justice is administered by the Central Court, the Court of a province (or municipality directly under central authority), the City (or District) or County People’s Courts, and the Special Court.

Verdicts are delivered in the name of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The term of office of the President of the Central Court is the same as that of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The term of office of Judges and People’s Assessors of the Central Court, the Court of a province (or municipality directly under central authority) and the City (or District) or County People’s Courts is the same as that of the People’s Assembly at the corresponding level.

The President and Judges of the Special Court are appointed or removed by the Central Court.

The People’s Assessors of the Special Court are elected by the soldiers of the unit concerned or by employees at their meetings.

The functions of the Court are to:

1. protect through judicial procedure the State power and the socialist system established in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the property of the State and social, cooperative organizations, personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution, and the lives and property of citizens;

2. ensure that all institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens abide strictly by State laws and staunchly combat class enemies and all law-breakers;

3. give judgments and findings with regard to property and conduct notarial work.

The Central Court is the highest judicial organ of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and supervises the judicial activities of all the Courts.

 

Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

The DPRK is substantially providing the people with genuine political freedom and rights according to the basic requirement of the Juche idea for ensuring the independence and creativity of man.

In the DPRK, the rights and duties of citizens are based on the collectivist principle: “One for all and all for one”.

The socialist constitution of the DPRK stipulates that the State shall effectively guarantee the genuine democratic rights and freedoms as well as all the conditions for ensuring the material and cultural well-being of all the citizens.

All citizens who have reached the age of 17 have the right to elect and to be elected, irrespective of sex, race, occupation, length of residence, property status, education, party affiliation, political views or religious belief. They are guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, assembly, demonstration and association. They have the freedom of religious belief. They are entitled to submit complaints and petitions.

Workers, peasants and other working people take part in the state administration as the masters of State power and are embraced in political parties and social organizations to conduct free socio-political activities. They have the rights to work, recuperation, education and free medical care. They are free to engage in scientific, literary and artistic pursuits.

Women are accorded equal social status and rights with men, and mothers and children are under special protection of the State.

Marriage and the family are protected by the State, citizens are guaranteed inviolability of the person and the home, and privacy of correspondence.

The rights and freedoms of citizens are being amplified with the consolidation and development of socialist system.

The Constitution of the DPRK sets it as a noble duty of citizens to firmly safeguard the political and ideological unity and solidarity of the people.

Citizens must strictly observe the laws of the State and the socialist standards of life, defend their honour and dignity as citizens of the DPRK and regard labour as a noble duty and honour.

It is also a duty of citizens to take good care of the property of the State and social, cooperative organizations, combat all forms of misappropriation and waste and manage the nation’s economy diligently as the masters.

All the citizens regard it as their supreme duty and honour to sharpen revolutionary vigilance and devotedly fight for the security of the State and national defence.

 

Foreign Relations

Independence, peace and friendship are the ideals of the DPRK’s foreign policy. The DPRK regards it as a consistent and steadfast principle to firmly maintain independence, develop friendly and cooperative relations with different countries in the world which respect its sovereignty, and wage a dynamic struggle to oppose war and defend peace and security of the world.

Under the banner of independence, peace and friendship, the government of the DPRK is making active efforts to achieve common development while developing relations and cooperation with all the countries and nations which respect its sovereignty, do not interfere in its internal affairs and treat it on an equal footing.

The DPRK maintains diplomatic relations with over 160 countries, has acceded to over 210 inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the UN and Non- Aligned Movement, and takes part in the activities of their major organs including their regular meetings (general meetings), executive committees, councils and secretariats.

 

Official Name, National Emblem, National Flag and National Anthem

Official Name of the Country

The official name of modern Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The DPRK founded by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung on September 9, Juche 37 (1948) is the independent socialist state that represents the Korean people’s interests.

The DPRK is the people-cantered socialist state where the popular masses are the masters of everything and everything serves them.

 

National Emblem

The national emblem of the DPRK was instituted on September 9, Juche 37 (1948), with the foundation of the Republic and was stipulated by the socialist constitution of the Republic.

Mt. Paektu, the sacred mountain of revolution, symbolizes the revolutionary cause of Juche which was pioneered by the great President, the founder of the socialist Korea, and the glorious tradition of the revolution that the state has inherited.

The red five-point star and its rays symbolize the brilliant future of the country and people struggling for the building of a thriving country, independent and peaceful reunification and the accomplishment of the cause of Juche revolution.

The hydroelectric power station symbolizes the powerful heavy industry and the working class while the ears of rice symbolize the socialist rural economy and the cooperative farmers.

The oval shape of the national emblem stands for the invincible unity and cohesion of the Korean people who are closely rallied behind the Party and the leader.

The name of the country “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” written on the red ribbon signifies that the DPRK is an independent, democratic and people-oriented state which represents the interests of the Korean people.

The national emblem is in oval shape and the ratio of the height to width is 6:5.

 

National Flag

The national flag of the DPRK was instituted on September 9, Juche 37 (1948), with the foundation of the Republic and was stipulated by the socialist constitution of the Republic.

The red colour of the national flag symbolizes the blood of the anti-Japanese revolutionary predecessors and heroic soldiers, who fought for the liberation and independence of the country, and the invincible might of the Korean people who are firmly united behind the Republic.

The white colour signifies that the DPRK is a state of the homogeneous nation from one lineage that has lived on the same land with one language and culture, and with high integrity and ethics.

The blue colour is symbolic of the dashing spirit of the people who struggle for the victory of the socialist cause and for world peace and progress.

The red five-point star depicts the wisdom of the Korean people who are advancing dynamically having inherited the anti-Japanese revolutionary tradition and the development prospects of the Republic. The ratio of the width to the length is 1:2.

 

National Anthem

The national anthem of the DPRK is Patriotic Song.

Patriotic Song represents the pride and honour of the Korean people of having beautiful nature, abundant resources, the 5, 000-year long history and splendid culture and tradition as well as their noble patriotism to build and bring eternal glory to the thriving country following the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea. It was produced in Juche 36 (1947).

 

Patriotic Song

1. Shine bright, you dawn, on this land so fair,

    The country of three thousand ri,

    So rich in silver and in gold you are,

    Five thousand years your history.

    Our people ever were renowned and sage,

    And rich in cultural heritage,

    And as with heart and soul we strive,

    Korea shall forever thrive!

    Our people ever were renowned and sage,

    And rich in cultural heritage,

    And as with heart and soul we strive,

    Korea shall forever thrive!

 

2. And in the spirit of Mount Paektu,

    With love of toil that shall never die,

    With will of iron fostered by the truth,

    We’ll lead the whole world by and by.

    We have the might to foil the angry sea,

    Our land more prosperous still shall be,

    As by the people’s will we strive,

    Korea shall forever thrive!

    We have the might to foil the angry sea,

    Our land more prosperous still shall be,

    As by the people’s will we strive,

    Korea shall forever thrive!