Short for KP by Abbreviationfinder, North Korea is a dictatorship that is then ruled for over half a century by a political dynasty. Society is militarized, closed and permeated with ideological propaganda.
North Korea’s authoritarian leader Kim Jong-Un exerts a great deal of control over the country, where the Communist Labor Party dominates the state apparatus and the military has long played an important role. A rare cult of personality has been built around him, his father Kim Jong-Il and his grandfather and the country’s first leader Kim Il-Sung. In 1997, North Korea introduced a new time series, which was based on Kim Il-Sung’s birth year 1912.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of North Korea for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Like the country’s former leader, Kim Jong-Un holds the heaviest posts within the state and party. Kim Jong-Un is both commander-in-chief and chairman of the party’s central military commission.
Kim Il-Sung had the title of president, but it was abolished after his death in 1994 and he was posthumously titled “eternal president”. Kim Il-Sung – also known as “the great leader” – was also Commander-in-Chief, Secretary-General of the Communist Party, Chairman of the Party’s Central Military Commission and Chairman of the National Defense Commission, which from 2009 was considered the country’s highest governing body.
Both son Kim Jong-Il – “the dear leader” – and grandson Kim Jong-Un were appointed commander-in-chief and chairman of the party’s central military commission. Kim Jong-Il was also secretary general of the party and chairman of the National Defense Commission and, after his death in 2011, was declared “eternal secretary general” and “eternal chairman”. Kim Jong-Un was thus unable to take over these important items, but was instead appointed first secretary of the party and first chairman of the National Defense Commission.
The dilemma was resolved in June 2016 when the National Defense Commission was abolished and replaced by a new governing body, the State Business Commission. The country’s parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, voted unanimously to appoint Kim Jong-Un as chairman of the new commission. Thus, Kim was able to step out of the shadow of her father and grandfather and occupy the highest post in the country.
The task of the Supreme People’s Assembly is to pass laws. The 687 members who are appointed for five years in general elections belong to all the Democratic front for the reunification of the motherland . The front is completely dominated by the Korean Workers’ Party , but it also includes two small support parties and mass organizations for youth, women and professional groups. In each constituency there is only one candidate, it is compulsory to vote – yes or no – and the turnout is usually stated to be 100 percent. The chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly formally acts as head of state. The Supreme People’s Assembly also appoints a prime minister and the government.
Kim Jong-Un has, since becoming a new leader, strived to restore the Workers’ Party power in society. According to the constitution, the country is to be governed by the party. But its position was gradually undermined when the “military first” principle was introduced. This meant that military spending and the military’s interests had to be in the forefront. But Kim Jong-Un launched the byungjin strategy in 2013, which at the same time gives priority to both nuclear weapons and the economy. One consequence has been that the military’s dominance over North Korea’s politics and economy has diminished while the party’s position has been strengthened. A particularly important role is the party’s central committee, which examines the government’s positions on various issues.
An important party ideology launched by Kim Il-Sung in the 1950s has been based on juche (self-confidence). Juche emphasizes national, cultural and economic independence as well as revolutionary zeal and the superiority of the party. Juche assumes that the individual puts the interests of society ahead of his own and that loyalty to the nation and its leaders precedes international solidarity. After an amendment in 2009, communism is not mentioned in the constitution.