How is North Korea governed

The three key words for understanding the North Korean regime are: "one-party rule", "one-man rule" and "dynastic rule".

"One-party rule"

One-party rule is a feature that most socialist states have shared in the past. A party that embodies the leading ideology is at the top of the political power structure, with the party exercising legislative, executive and judicial power. The party not only rules the state, but "controls" social organizations and people's lives. Therefore, North Korea can be described as a “party state” in which institutions and organizations of the party and the state are intertwined. Although there is more than one party in North Korea, these parties are not opposition camps, but rather "brother parties". The ruling party in North Korea is the PdAK (Party of Labor of Korea, Joseon Rodongdang, 조선 로동당, 朝鮮 勞動 黨).

The key words for understanding the North Korean political system are: "one-party rule", "one-man rule" and "dynastic succession". Right picture: Ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the Korean People's Army

"One-man rule"

“One-man rule” is a typical feature of dictatorships. While state power is in the hands of the ruling party, one person has all power within the party. The term “monolithic” was originally used in North Korea to denote a “monolithic system of thought”. But this system of thought is written by the chairman of the party. In North Korean society, the party leader is the "embodiment of the orderly will of the party as a whole" and the "monolithic commander in chief of the sociopolitical entity North Korea". Therefore, the position and with it the power of the party chairman is unique and unchallenged.

"Dynastic Rule"

North Korea is unique in the sense that it has a communist government in which a “dynastic succession” (as a logical consequence of “one-man rule”) has been successfully carried out. The system of "dynastic rule" equips the heirs with the right to "succeed as commander-in-chief" on the basis that he has inherited the thinking, efficiency and abilities of his father.

Preparations for the dynastic succession had already been made at the beginning of the 1970s. The order of dynastic sovereign affairs was consolidated when Kim Il-sung said, "Comrade Kim Jong-il is fully capable of performing his duties [as leader]." Following on from Kim Il-sungs Death and the appointment of Kim Jong-il as General Secretary of the PdAK in October 1997, the dynastic succession was successfully completed when Kim Jong-il assumed the office of Chairman of the National Defense Commission in September 1998.