World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of leaders of North Korea

Article Id: WHEBN0025084215
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of leaders of North Korea  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: North Korea, List of current heads of state and government, December 2012, Korea, Government of North Korea
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

List of leaders of North Korea

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
North Korea
Foreign relations

The following is a list of political leaders of North Korea.

Prior to the proclamation of a North Korean state, the Soviet Union had established in 1946 the Provisional People's Committee for North Korea as a de facto government in their occupation zone. Its chairman was Kim Il-sung.

On 9 September 1948 a North Korean state, called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), was proclaimed under the leadership of Kim Il-sung and took the governmental functions over from the Provisional People's Committee.

Since its founding, the most important position in the DPRK has been that of the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) — titled as chairman from 1948 to 1966, general secretary from 1966 to 2011 and first secretary since 2011. For all intents and purposes, the WPK is the only legal party in the country (two minor parties exist, but are completely subservient to the WPK), and its leader exercises absolute control over the country. The government serves largely as a transmission belt for the party.

The formal head of state originally was the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly. On December 28, 1972 party leader and Premier Kim Il-sung proclaimed himself President and thus become head of state. He held this office until his death on July 8, 1994 when he was proclaimed the "Eternal President of the Republic". Since then, de jure functions of the head of state had been conferred to the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

After the death of Kim Il-sung, his son Kim Jong-il held supreme power in the country as Chairman of the National Defence Commission and General Secretary of the party until his own death on December 17, 2011.

The current leader is Kim Jong-il's son Kim Jong-un, who was revealed to be in charge of the country since his father's death by the Rodong Sinmun and finally publicly acknowledged as supreme leader at the military review ending Kim Jong-il's funeral on December 29, 2011.

The government is headed by the Premier, formerly called Premier of the Council of Ministers.

Other important institutions include the Supreme People's Assembly, whose sessions are chaired by the Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, and, since 1993, the Chairman of the National Defence Commission, which holds supreme command of the DPRK's armed forces.

Since 1997, the SPA chairman, premier and National Defence Commission chairman have officially formed a triumvirate heading the executive branch, with powers equivalent to one-third of a president's powers in other presidential systems. The SPA chairman conducts foreign affairs and receives the credentials of ambassadors, the premier handles domestic policy and the NDC chairman commands the armed forces. In practice, however, the real power is vested in the NDC chairman (who has also been leader of the Workers' Party), an office constitutionally defined as the "highest post in the state."

Supreme leaders

To date, "supreme leader" has been applied to three individual North Korean leaders, from three generations of a single family (dates approximate and open to dispute):

Generations of leadership

      First generation       Second generation       Third generation

Picture Name Offices held Period Party
Kim Il-sung
김일성
(1912–1994)
Supreme Commander of the KPA February 8, 1948 – December 24, 1991 September 9, 1948

July 8, 1994
(45 years, 302 days)
Workers' Party of Korea
Prime Minister of the DPRK Cabinet September 9, 1948 – December 28, 1972
Chairman of the WPK Central Committee June 30, 1949 – October 11, 1966
Chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission 1950 – July 8, 1994
General Secretary of the WPK Central Committee October 11, 1966 – July 8, 1994
President of the DPRK December 28, 1972 – July 8, 1994
Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK December 28, 1972 – April 9, 1993
Eternal President of the DPRK July 8, 1994 – Incumbent
Kim Jong-il
김정일
(1942–2011)
Supreme Commander of the KPA December 24, 1991 – December 17, 2011 July 8, 1994

December 17, 2011
(17 years, 162 days)
Workers' Party of Korea
Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK April 9, 1993 – December 17, 2011
General Secretary of the WPK Central Committee October 8, 1997 – December 17, 2011
Chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission
Eternal General Secretary of the WPK Central Committee April 11, 2012 – Incumbent
Eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK April 13, 2012 – Incumbent
Kim Jong-un
김정은
(1983–)
Supreme Commander of the KPA December 30, 2011 – Incumbent December 17, 2011

Incumbent
(3 years, 66 days)
Workers' Party of Korea
First Secretary of the WPK Central Committee April 11, 2012 – Incumbent
Chairman of the WPK Central Military Commission
First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK April 13, 2012 – Incumbent

Leaders of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK)

Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea
# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
Chairmen of the Central Committee
1 Kim Tu-bong 28 August 1946 30 June 1949 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Kim Il-sung 30 June 1949 11 October 1966 Workers' Party of Korea
General Secretary of the Central Committee
1 Kim Il-sung 11 October 1966 8 July 1994 Workers' Party of Korea
General Secretary of the Party
2 Kim Jong-il 8 October 1997 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea
First Secretary of the Central Committee
1 Kim Jong-un 11 April 2012 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea

Kim Jong-il died on 17 December 2011, but has since been posthumously named the "Eternal General Secretary". Thus his son and successor as leader, Kim Jong-un, was not given the title of General Secretary.

Heads of state

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly
1 Kim Tu-bong 9 September 1948 20 September 1957 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Choi Yong-kun 20 September 1957 28 December 1972 Workers' Party of Korea
President of the Republic
1 Kim Il-sung 28 December 1972 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea
Presidents of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
3 Yang Hyong-sop 8 July 1994 5 September 1998 Workers' Party of Korea
4 Kim Yong-nam 5 September 1998 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea

Kim Il-sung died on 8 July 1994, but has since been posthumously named the "Eternal President of the Republic". Thus his son and successor as leader, the late Kim Jong-il, was not given the title of President and the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly became de jure head of state.

Heads of government

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
Prime Minister of the Cabinet
1 Kim Il-sung 9 September 1948 28 December 1972 Workers' Party of Korea
Premiers of the Council of Ministers
1 Kim Il 28 December 1972 29 April 1976 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Pak Song-chol 19 April 1976 16 December 1977 Workers' Party of Korea
3 Li Jong-ok 16 December 1977 27 January 1984 Workers' Party of Korea
4 Kang Song-san 27 January 1984 29 December 1986 Workers' Party of Korea
5 Li Gun-mo 29 December 1986 12 December 1988 Workers' Party of Korea
6 Yon Hyong-muk 12 December 1988 11 December 1992 Workers' Party of Korea
7 Kang Song-san 11 December 1992 21 February 1997 Workers' Party of Korea
Hong Song-nam
Acting
21 February 1997 5 September 1998 Workers' Party of Korea
Premiers of the Cabinet
1 Hong Song-nam 5 September 1998 3 September 2003 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Pak Pong-ju 3 September 2003 11 April 2007 Workers' Party of Korea
3 Kim Yong-il 11 April 2007 7 June 2010 Workers' Party of Korea
4 Choe Yong-rim 7 June 2010 1 April 2013 Workers' Party of Korea
5 Pak Pong-ju 1 April 2013 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea

Heads of parliament

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
Chairmen of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly
1 Kim Tu-bong 9 September 1948 20 September 1957 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Choi Yong-kun 20 September 1957 28 December 1972 Workers' Party of Korea
3 Hwang Jang-yop 28 December 1972 1983 Workers' Party of Korea
4 Yang Hyong-sop 1983 5 September 1998 Workers' Party of Korea
Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly
5 Choe Thae-bok 5 September 1998 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea

Heads of the military

# Picture Name Took office Left office Party
Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea
1 Kim Il-sung 1950 28 December 1972 Workers' Party of Korea
Chairman of the National Defence Commission
1 Kim Il-sung 28 December 1972 9 April 1993 Workers' Party of Korea
2 Kim Jong-il 9 April 1993 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea
First Chairman of the National Defence Commission
1 Kim Jong-un 13 April 2012 Incumbent Workers' Party of Korea

Kim Jong-il died on 17 December 2011, but has since been posthumously named the "Eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission". Thus his son and successor as leader, Kim Jong-un, was not given the title of Chairman.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.