Premier of North Korea

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Premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Pak Pong-ju

since 1 April 2013
Inaugural holder Kim Il-sung
Formation 9 September 1948
Emblem of North Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
North Korea
Foreign relations

The Premier of North Korea (officially Premier of the Cabinet of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is the head of government of North Korea.

Functions and history

The Premier represents and oversees the Cabinet, which is charged with executing the policies decided by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. The office has no policy-making authority of its own.

Originally, under the 1948 Constitution of the DPRK, the Premier was a very important post and held actual power over the government. Kim Il-sung himself inaugurated the post, keeping it for 24 years until 1972, while the ceremonial role of the head of State rested in the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly.

The 1972 Constitution created the post of President of the DPRK for Kim Il-sung, transferring to it all the paramount power. The Premier was now the head of the Administration Council, but most of the powers of the former Cabinet were passed to the Central People's Committee, the highest ruling council chaired by the President himself. The first premier after Kim Il-sung was his long-time ally Kim Il (no relation with the former). The post was then officially known as Premier of the Administration Council.

After Kim Il-sung died, the post of President remained vacant (officially Kim Il-sung was proclaimed Eternal President) as Kim Jong-il planned a new State reorganization. A Constitution revision in 1998 abolished both the Central People's Committee and the Administration Council, re-creating the Cabinet.

The Premier now shares power with the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (i.e. the head of State) and the Chairman of the National Defence Commission (i.e. the military supreme commander), although it was clear it is the lowest of the three: significantly, Kim Jong-il was NDC Chairman uninterruptedly from 1993 until 2011, and Kim Yong-nam has been President of the SPA Presidium since 1998, while the premiers have often changed.

See also