Cabinet of North Korea

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Cabinet of North Korea
Government overview
Formed 1948 (current, 2013)
Jurisdiction North Korea
Headquarters Pyongyang
Minister responsible
Emblem of North Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
North Korea
Foreign relations

The Cabinet of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is, according to the Constitution of North Korea, the administrative and executive body of the highest organ of state power and a general state-management organ in the Government of North Korea.[1] The Cabinet's principal newspaper is Minju Choson.


File:Park Hon-youn and Ather 1949.jpg
The cabinet, headed by Kim Il-sung, visiting Moscow in 1949

In North Korea's first constitution, adopted in 1948, the executive powers were vested in the Cabinet, chaired by Kim Il-sung himself. The 1972 constitution saw the establishment of the post of President of North Korea which led the executive branch, and the cabinet was split into two organizations: The Central People's Committee and the State Administration Council. The Central People's Committee provided the highest visible institutional link between the government and the party and serves in effect as a de facto super-cabinet. The National Defence Commission was then sub-committee of this body.[2] The CPC's formal powers were all-inclusive and it was chaired by the President.[3] Among its responsibilities are formulating domestic and foreign policies, directing the work of the State Administration Council and its local organs, directing the judiciary, ensuring the enforcement of the constitution and other laws, appointing or removing the vice premiers and cabinet members, establishing or changing administrative subdivisions or their boundaries, and ratifying or abolishing treaties signed with foreign countries. The CPC also may issue decrees, decisions, and instructions. The State Administration Council was guided by the CPC and was led by a premier (chong-ri) and included vice premiers (bochong-ri), ministers (boojang), committee chairmen, and other cabinet-level members of central agencies. It was responsible for the formulation of state economic development plans and measures for implementing them, the preparation of the state budget, and the handling of other monetary and fiscal matters.[4]

1982 saw the People's Armed Forces and Public Security Ministries assigned directly to the President together with the State Inspection Commission.

In 1990, by a CPC decision, the NDC became fully independent from it as a separate institution, and 1992 constitutional amendments assigned it directly to the Supreme People's Assembly. In 1998 amendments to the Constitution, the Central People's Committee and the State Administration were abolished, and the Cabinet was re-created. Thus, the Cabinet is not only the highest executive enforcement organ but was also expanded to become the general State management organ.

Emphasizing its expanded role, on January 1999 Kim Jong-il stated that

"The party organizations and party cadres should not intervene in administrative matters. The party should help the cabinet to be responsible for all economic affairs. Last year we made a new governmental system where the cabinet is supposed to be the control tower of the economy...No organizational unit should handle economic problems without consulting the cabinet".[5]


The cabinet is appointed and accountable to the Supreme People's Assembly, the North Korean unicameral parliament. The SPA chooses the Premier of North Korea who appoints three vice premiers and the cabinet's ministers. All members of the cabinet are members of the Workers' Party of Korea which rules the country since its establishment in 1948. While the SPA is not in session, the cabinet is accountable to the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.[6]

Powers and responsibilities

The Cabinet, as the executive branch of the North Korean state, is responsible for implementing the state's economic policies, as guided by the Workers' Party. The cabinet is not responsible for defense and security issues, as those are handled by the National Defense Commission. Thus, the security organizations such as the Korean People's Army, Ministry of People's Security and State Security Department report and subordinated directly to the National Defense Commission. The Cabinet convenes a plenary meeting and an executive meeting.[7] The plenary meeting consists of all the Cabinet members, while the executive meeting is kind of a presidium, and comprises fewer people, including the Premier, vice premier and other Cabinet members whom the Premier nominates. The cabinet forms acts in the form of decisions and directives. The Cabinet shall:[8]

  • adopt measures to execute state policy.
  • institute, amend, and supplement regulations concerning state management based on the Constitution and departmental laws.
  • guide the work of the Cabinet commissions, ministries, direct organs of the Cabinet, local people’s committees.
  • set up and remove direct organs of the Cabinet, main administrative economic organizations, and enterprises, and adopt measures to improve the State management structure.
  • draft the State plan for the development of the national economy and adopt measures to put it into effect.
  • compile the State budget and adopt measures to implement it.
  • organize and exercise works in the fields of industry, agriculture, construction, transportation, communications, commerce, trade, land management, city management, education, science, culture, health, physical training, labor administration, environmental protection, tourism and others.
  • adopt measures to strengthen the monetary and banking system.
  • do inspection and control work to establish a state management order.
  • adopt measures to maintain social order, protect State and social cooperation body’s possession and interests, and to guarantee citizens’ rights.
  • conclude treaties with foreign countries, and conduct external activities.
  • abolish decisions and directions by economic administrative organs, which run counter to the Cabinet decisions or directions.

At a local level, the Cabinet supervises the Local People's Committees.


The Cabinet is composed of the following as of 10 April 2014:

Cabinet of North Korea
Office Name Political party
Premier Pak Pong-ju Workers' Party of Korea
Vice Premier Kim Tok-hun[9] Workers' Party of Korea
Vice Premier Kim Yong Jin[10] Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ri Su Yong[11] Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Finance Choe Kwang-Jin Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Public Health Kang Ha-guk Workers' Party of Korea
Sim Chol-ho Workers' Party of Korea
Kang Jong-gwan Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Railways Jon Kil-su Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Mining Industry Ri Hak-chol Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of National
Resource Development[12]
Ri Chun-sam
Kim Man-su Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Coal Industry Mun Myong-hak Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Food and Consumer Goods Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Trade Kim Kyong-nam Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam[13] Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Labor Jong Yong-su Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Culture Pak Chun-nam Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Education Kim Sung-du Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Higher Education Thae Hyong-chol
(concurrent president of Kim Il-sung University)
Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of City Management Kang Yong-su Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry[14] Ri Je-son
Ministry of Metal Industry Kim Yong-Kwang Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Construction and
Building-Materials Industries
Ministry of Electronics Industries Kim Jae-seong Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Agriculture Ri Chol-man Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Forestry Han Ryong-guk Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Fisheries Pak Tae-won Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Oil Industry Kim Hee-yon Workers' Party of Korea
Kim Kyong-jun Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of State Construction Control Kwon Song-ho Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of Physical
Culture and Sports[15]
Ri Jong-moo Workers' Party of Korea
Ministry of State Inspection
Other offices
State Planning Commission Ro Tu-chol Workers' Party of Korea
State Education Commission Chairman also Minister of Education
Central Statistic Bureau
DPRK Central Bank Kim Chon-gyun Workers' Party of Korea
Cabinet Secretariat Kim Jong-ha[16] Workers' Party of Korea
Cabinet Political Bureau Jon Pyong-ho Workers' Party of Korea
State Commission for Science and Technology Choe Sang-gon Workers' Party of Korea

See also


  1. Article 117 of the Constitution of North Korea
  2. Article 105 of the 1972 Constitution
  3. Articles 100-106 of the 1972 Constitution of North Korea
  4. A Country Study: North Korea- 1993- Library of Congress
  5. Jae-Cheon Lim. Kim Jong-il's Leadership of North Korea, p. 116
  6. Article 125 of the Constitution of North Korea
  7. Article 121 of the Constitution of North Korea
  8. Article 119 of the Constitution of North Korea
  9. Fifth Cabinet Vice Premier Appointed, May 1, 2014
  10. Members of DPRK Cabinet Appointed, April 9, 2014
  11. "DPRK FM Clarifies Principled Stand on Int'l Law". KCNA. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "DPRK elevates status of national resource development office". Retrieved 25 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Mongolian President Departs the DPRK
  14. "Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry Established". Korean Central News Agency. Retrieved 13 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Kim Jong Un Attends Basketball Game
  16. March Election for People's Assembly

ru:Правительство КНДР