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Korea, North Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea
conventional short form: North Korea
local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk
local short form: Choson
abbreviation: DPRK
etymology: derived from the Chinese name for Goryeo, which was the Korean dynasty that united the peninsula in the 10th century A.D.; the North Korean name "Choson" means "[Land of the] Morning Calm"
Government typecommunist state
Capitalname: Pyongyang
geographic coordinates: 39 01 N, 125 45 E
time difference: UTC+8.5 (13.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: on 15 August 2015, North Korea reverted to UTC+8.5, a time zone that had been observed during pre-colonial times
Administrative divisions9 provinces (do, singular and plural) and 2 cities (si, singular and plural)
provinces: Chagang, Hambuk (North Hamgyong), Hamnam (South Hamgyong), Hwangbuk (North Hwanghae), Hwangnam (South Hwanghae), Kangwon, P'yongbuk (North Pyongan), P'yongnam (South Pyongan), Ranggang
cities: P'yongyang, Rason
note: Rason is sometimes designated as a special city and P'yongyang as a capital city
Independence15 August 1945 (from Japan)
National holidayFounding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), 9 September (1948)
Constitutionprevious 1948, 1972; latest adopted 1998 (during KIM Jong Il era); revised 2009, 2012, 2013 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Prussian model; system influenced by Japanese traditions and Communist legal theory
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of North Korea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: KIM Jong Un (since 17 December 2011)
head of government: Premier PAK Pong Ju (since 2 April 2013); Vice Premiers JON Kwant Ho (since 17 January 2017), RI Ju O (since 29 June 2016), RI Ryong Nam (since 29 June 2016), KO In Ho (since 29 June 2016), IM Chol Ung (since 29 May 2014), KIM Tok Hun (since 19 June 2013), RI Mu Yong (since 31 May 2011), RO Tu Chol (since 3 September 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet or Naegak members appointed by the Supreme People's Assembly except the Minister of People's Armed Forces
elections/appointments: chief of state and premier indirectly elected by the Supreme People's Assembly; election last held on 9 March 2014 (next election NA)
election results: KIM Jong Un elected unopposed
note: the Korean Workers' Party continues to list deceased leaders KIM Il Sung and KIM Jong Il as Eternal President and Eternal General Secretary respectively
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Supreme People's Assembly or Ch'oego Inmin Hoeui (687 seats; members directly elected by absolute majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the Korean Workers' Party selects all candidates
elections: last held on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; ruling party approves a list of candidates who are elected without opposition; a token number of seats are reserved for minor parties
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Central Court (consists of the chief justice and 2 "People's Assessors" and for some cases, 3 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Supreme People's Assembly for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: provincial, municipal, military, special courts; people' courts (lowest level)
Political parties and leadersmajor party: Korean Workers' Party or KWP [KIM Jong Un]
minor parties: Chondoist Chongu Party (under KWP control)
Social Democratic Party [KIM Yong Dae] (under KWP control)
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
International organization participationARF, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USnone; North Korea has a Permanent Mission to the UN in New York
Diplomatic representation from the USnone; note - Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang represents the US as consular protecting power
Flag descriptionthree 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; the broad red band symbolizes revolutionary traditions; the narrow white bands stand for purity, strength, and dignity; the blue bands signify sovereignty, peace, and friendship; the red star represents socialism
National symbol(s)red star, chollima (winged horse); national colors: red, white, blue
National anthemname: "Aegukka" (Patriotic Song)
lyrics/music: PAK Se Yong/KIM Won Gyun
note: adopted 1947; both North Korea's and South Korea's anthems share the same name and have a vaguely similar melody but have different lyrics; the North Korean anthem is also known as "Ach'imun pinnara" (Let Morning Shine)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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