Kim Jong-un is a North Korean politician serving as Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011 and serving as the Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2012. Kim is the second child of Ko Yong-hui, he is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, the first leader of North Korea from 1948 to 1994. Kim is the first North Korean leader, born after the country's founding. From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as heir apparent to the leadership of the DPRK, following the elder Kim's death, North Korean state television announced him as the "Great Successor". Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body in North Korea. Kim was promoted to the rank of Marshal of North Korea in the Korean People's Army on 18 July 2012, consolidating his position as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and is referred to as Marshal Kim Jong-un, "the Marshal" or "Dear Respected" by state media.
Kim obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University, another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University. Forbes magazine ranked Kim the 46th most powerful person in the world in 2013 and the third highest amongst Koreans after Ban Ki-moon and Lee Kun-hee. On 12 December 2013, North Korean news outlets reported that Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of his uncle Jang Song-thaek due to "treachery". On 9 March 2014, Kim was unopposed, he is believed to have ordered the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia in February 2017. Despite tense relations, North Korea agreed to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Following the Olympics, Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in conducted the April 2018 inter-Korean summit, which marked the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean leader entered the South's territory. On 12 June 2018, Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met for a summit in Singapore, the first-ever talks held between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President, to discuss the North Korean nuclear program.
Scarce information on Kim Jong-un's early life comes from North Korean defectors and people who have claimed to witness him abroad, such as during his school attendance in Switzerland. Some of the information has been conflicting and contradictory confusing him with his brother, Kim Jong-chul, who attended school in Switzerland around the same time. North Korean authorities and state-run media have stated that Kim's birthdate was 8 January 1982, but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later, it is thought. The US Treasury Department lists Kim Jong-un's official birthdate as 8 January 1984. Former basketball star Dennis Rodman said that this was Kim's birthdate after meeting in September 2013 in North Korea. Kim Jong-Un was the second of three children. According to reports first published in Japanese newspapers, he went to school in Switzerland near Bern. First reports claimed he attended the private English-language International School in Gümligen under the name "Chol-pak" or "Pak-chol" from 1993 to 1998.
He was described as shy, a good student who got along well with his classmates and was a basketball fan. He was chaperoned by an older student, thought to be his bodyguard, it was reported that Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli state school in Köniz near Bern under the name "Pak-un" or "Un-pak" from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the North Korean embassy in Bern. Authorities of Köniz confirmed that a student from North Korea, registered as the son of a member of the embassy, attended the school from August 1998 until the autumn of 2000, but were unable to give details about his identity. Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th, part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in the autumn of 2000, he was described as a ambitious student who liked to play basketball. However, his grades and attendance rating are reported to have been poor; the ambassador of North Korea in Switzerland, Ri Chol, had a close relationship with him and acted as a mentor.
One of Pak-un's classmates told reporters that he had told him that he was the son of the leader of North Korea. According to some reports, Kim was described by classmates as a shy child, awkward with girls and indifferent to political issues, but who distinguished himself in sports and had a fascination with the American National Basketball Association and Michael Jordan. One friend claimed that he had been shown pictures of Pak-un with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč. In April 2012, new documents came to light indicating that Kim Jong-un had lived in Switzerland since 1991 or 1992, earlier than thought; the Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, after comparing the picture of the boy Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999 with a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 came to th
Cabinet of North Korea
The Cabinet of North Korea is, according to the Constitution of North Korea, the administrative and executive body and a general state-management organ in the Government of North Korea. The Cabinet's principal newspaper is Minju Choson. 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, 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 sub-committee of this body. The CPC's formal powers were all-inclusive and it was chaired by the President. 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, ratifying or abolishing treaties signed with foreign countries.
The CPC may issue decrees and instructions. The State Administration Council was guided by the CPC and was led by a premier and included vice premiers, committee chairmen, 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, the handling of other monetary and fiscal matters.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 independent from it as a separate institution, 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, the Cabinet was re-created. Thus, the Cabinet is not only the highest executive enforcement organ but was 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"; 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; as of 2000, some 260 people have served as cabinet ministers. Six of them have been women: Ho Jong-suk, Pak Chong-ae, Yi Yang-suk, Pak Yong-sin, Yi Ho-hyok, Yu Gi-jong.
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 an executive meeting. The plenary meeting consists of all the Cabinet members, while the executive meeting is kind of a presidium, comprises fewer people, including the Premier, vice premier and other Cabinet members whom the Premier nominates; the cabinet forms acts in the form of directives. The Cabinet shall: adopt measures to execute state policy. Institute and supplement regulations concerning state management based on the Constitution and departmental laws. Guide the work of the Cabinet commissions, direct organs of the Cabinet, local people’s committees.
Set up and remove direct organs of the Cabinet, main administrative economic organizations, enterprises, 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, construction, communications, trade, land management, city management, science, health, physical training, labor administration, environmental protection and others. Adopt measures to strengthen 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, to guarantee citizens’ rights. Conclude treaties with foreign countries, conduct external activities. Abolish decisions and directions by economic administrative organs, which run counter to the Cabinet decisions or directions; those Cabinet ministries that oversee economic sectors con
Minister of Foreign Affairs (North Korea)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a government minister in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for conducting foreign relations of the country. In addition to the foreign minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a First Vice Minister and seven other vice ministers; the current First Vice Minister is Kim Kye-gwan. The other vice ministers include Choe Son-hui, Han Song-ryol, Choe Hui-chol; the following is a list of foreign ministers of North Korea since its founding in 1948: Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea
Politics of North Korea
The politics of North Korea takes place within the framework of the official state philosophy, Juche, a concept created by Hwang Jang-yop and attributed to Kim Il-sung. The Juche theory is the belief that through self-reliance and a strong independent state, true socialism can be achieved. North Korea's political system is built upon the principle of centralization. While the North Korean constitution formally guarantees protection of human rights, in practice there are severe limits on freedom of expression, the government supervises the lives of North Korean citizens; the constitution defines North Korea as "a dictatorship of people's democracy" under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea, given legal supremacy over other political parties. The WPK is the ruling party of North Korea, it has been in power since its creation in 1948. Two minor political parties exist, but are bound to accept the ruling role of the WPK. They, with the WPK, comprise the popular front Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland.
Elections occur only in single-candidate races where the candidate is selected beforehand by the WPK. In addition to the parties, there are over 100 mass organizations controlled by the WPK; those who are not WPK members are required to join one of these organizations. Of these, the most important ones are the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, Socialist Women's Union of Korea, General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea; these four organizations are DFRF members. Kim Il-sung ruled the country from 1948 until his death in July 1994, holding the offices of General Secretary of the WPK from 1949 to 1994, Premier of North Korea from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994, he was succeeded by Kim Jong-il. While the younger Kim had been his father's designated successor since the 1980s, it took him three years to consolidate his power, he was named to his father's old post of General Secretary in 1997, in 1998 became chairman of the National Defence Commission, which gave him command of the armed forces.
The constitution was amended to make the NDC chairmanship "the highest post in the state." At the same time, the presidential post was written out of the constitution, Kim Il-sung was designated "Eternal President of the Republic" in order to honor his memory forever. Most analysts believe the title to be a product of the cult of personality he cultivated during his life. Outside observers views North Korea as a totalitarian dictatorship noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family; the Workers' Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members.. In recent years, there has been great emphasis on "military-first" philosophy. All references to communism were removed from the North Korean constitution in 2009; the status of the military has been enhanced, it appears to occupy the center of the North Korean political system.
Kim Jong-il's public activity focused on "on-the-spot guidance" of places and events related to the military. The enhanced status of the military and military-centered political system was confirmed at the first session of the 10th Supreme People's Assembly by the promotion of NDC members into the official power hierarchy. All ten NDC members were ranked within the top twenty on 5 September, all but one occupied the top twenty at the fiftieth anniversary of the Day of the Foundation of the Republic on 9 September. According to the Constitution of North Korea, the country is a democratic republic and the Supreme People's Assembly and Provincial People's Assemblies are elected by direct universal suffrage and secret ballot. Suffrage is guaranteed to all citizens aged 17 and over. In reality, elections in North Korea are for feature single-candidate races only; those who want to vote against the sole candidate on the ballot must go to a special booth - in the presence of an electoral official - to cross out the candidate's name before dropping it into the ballot box—an act which, according to many North Korean defectors, is far too risky to contemplate.
All elected candidates are members of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, a popular front dominated by the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. The two minor parties in the coalition are the Chondoist Chongu Party and the Korean Social Democratic Party; the WPK exercises direct control over the candidates selected for election by members of the other two parties. In the past, elections were contested by other minor parties as well, including the Korea Buddhist Federation, Democratic Independent Party, Dongro People's Party, Gonmin People's Alliance, People's Republic Party. A close ally of Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, North Korea has emphasized Juche, an adoption of socialist self-reliance, which roots from Marxism–Leninism, its adoption of a certain ideological form of Marxism-Leninism is specific to the conditions of North Korea. Juche was enshrined as the official ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972. In 2009, the constitution was amended again removing the brief references to communism.
Workers' Party of Korea
The Workers' Party of Korea is the founding and ruling political party of North Korea. It is the largest party represented in the Supreme People's Assembly and coexists de jure with two other legal parties making up the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland. However, these minor parties are subservient to the WPK, must accept the WPK's "leading role" as a condition of their existence, it was founded in 1949 with the merger of the Workers' Party of North Korea and the Workers' Party of South Korea. The WPK controls the Korean People's Army; this political party remains illegal in South Korea under South Korea's own National Security Act and is sanctioned by Australia, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States. The WPK is organized according to the Monolithic Ideological System and the Great Leader, a system and theory conceived by Kim Yong-ju and Kim Jong-il; the highest body of the WPK is formally the Congress, but in practice a Congress occurs infrequently.
Between 1980 and 2016, there were no congresses held. Although the WPK is organizationally similar to communist parties, in practice it is far less institutionalized and informal politics plays a larger role than usual. Institutions such as the Central Committee, the Executive Policy Bureau, the Central Military Commission, the Politburo and the Politburo's Presidium have much less power than that formally bestowed on them by the party's charter, little more than a nominal document. Kim Jong-un is the current WPK leader, serving as CMC chairman; the WPK is committed to Juche, an ideology, described as a combination of collectivism and nationalism. At the 3rd Conference, the WPK removed a sentence from the preamble expressing the party's commitment "to building a communist society", replacing it with a new adherence to Songun, "military-first" policies; the 2009 revision had removed all references to communism. Party ideology has focused on perceived imperialist enemies of the party and state.
Before the rise of Juche and Songun, the party was committed to Marxist–Leninist thought as well, with its importance becoming diminished over time. The party's emblem is an adaptation of the communist hammer and sickle, with a traditional Korean calligraphy brush; the symbols represent the industrial workers and intellectuals. On 13 October 1945, the North Korean Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea was established, with Kim Yong-bom its first chairman. However, the NKB–CPK remained subordinate to the CPK Central Committee. Two months at the 3rd Plenum of the NKB, Kim Yong-bom was replaced by Kim Il-sung. In spring 1946 the North Korean Bureau became the Communist Party of North Korea, with Kim Il-sung its elected chairman. On 22 July 1946 Soviet authorities in North Korea established the United Democratic National Front, a popular front led by the Communist Party of North Korea; the Communist Party of North Korea soon merged with the New People's Party of Korea, a party composed of communists from China.
On 28 July 1946 a special commission of the two parties ratified the merger, it became official the following day. One month the party held its founding congress, establishing the Workers' Party of North Korea; the congress elected former leader of the New People's Party of Korea Kim Tu-bong as the first WPNK chairman, with Kim Il-sung its appointed deputy chairman. However, despite his formal downgrade in the party's hierarchy Kim Il-sung remained its leader. Party control increased throughout the country after the congress. From 27–30 March 1948, the WPNK convened its 2nd Congress. While Kim Tu-bong was still the party's formal head, Kim Il-sung presented the main report to the congress. In it he claimed. On 28 April 1948 a special session of the Supreme People's Assembly approved the constitution, which led to the official establishment of an independent North Korea, it did not call for a unified Korea. Kim Il-sung was the appointed head of government of the new state, with Kim Tu-bong heading the legislative branch.
A year on 30 June 1949, the Workers' Party of Korea was created with the merger of the WPNK and the Workers' Party of South Korea. Kim Il-sung was not the most ardent supporter of a military reunification of Korea. After several meetings with Joseph Stalin, the North Koreans invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950—this began the Korean War. With American intervention in the war the DPRK nearly collapsed, but it was saved by Chinese intervention in the conflict; the war had the effect of weakening Soviet influence over Kim Il-sung and the WPK. Around this time, the main fault lines in early WPK politics were created. Four factions formed: domestic, Soviet Koreans and guerrillas. Howe
Juche is the official state ideology of North Korea, described by the government as "Kim Il-sung's original and revolutionary contribution to national and international thought". It postulates that "man is the master of his destiny", that the Korean masses are to act as the "masters of the revolution and construction" and that by becoming self-reliant and strong a nation can achieve true socialism. Kim Il-sung developed the ideology viewed as a variant of Marxism–Leninism until it became distinctly Korean in character whilst incorporating the historical materialist ideas of Marxism–Leninism and emphasizing the individual, the nation state and its sovereignty; the North Korean government adopted Juche into a set of principles it uses to justify its policy decisions from the 1950s onwards. Such principles include moving the nation towards claimed jaju, through the construction of jarip and an emphasis upon jawi in order to establish socialism; the practice of Juche is rooted in the ideals of sustainability through agricultural independence and a lack of dependency.
The Juche ideology has been criticized by many scholars and observers as a mechanism for sustaining the totalitarian rule of the North Korean regime and justifying the country's heavy-handed isolationism and oppression of the North Korean people. It has been described as a form of Korean ethnic nationalism, but one that promotes the Kim family as the saviours of the "Korean race" and acts as a foundation of the subsequent personality cult surrounding them. Juche comes from a Sino-Japanese word 主體; the word was coined in 1887 to translate the concept of Subjekt in German philosophy into Japanese. The word migrated to the Korean language at around the turn of the century and retained this meaning. Shutai went on to appear in Japanese translations of Karl Marx's writings. North Korean editions of Marx used the word Juche before the word was attributed to Kim Il-sung in its novel meaning in 1955. In today's political discourse on North Korea, Juche has a connotation of "self-reliance", "autonomy" and "independence".
It is defined in opposition to the Korean concept of Sadae, or reliance on the great powers. South Koreans use the word without reference to the North Korean ideology. Official statements by the North Korean government attribute the origin of Juche to Kim Il-sung's experiences in the Anti-Imperialist Youth League in 1930 in his "liberation struggle" against Japan; the first documented reference to Juche as an ideology appeared in 1955 in a speech given by Kim Il-sung entitled "On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work". The speech had been delivered to promote a political purge similar to the earlier Yan'an Rectification Movement in China. Hwang Jang-yop, Kim's top adviser on ideology, discovered Kim's 1955 speech in the late 1950s when Kim, having established a cult of personality, sought to develop his own version of Marxism–Leninism into a North Korean ideology. In his 1955 speech, the first known to refer to Juche, Kim Il-sung said: To make revolution in Korea we must know Korean history and geography as well as the customs of the Korean people.
Only is it possible to educate our people in a way that suits them and to inspire in them an ardent love for their native place and their motherland. In the speech "On Socialist Construction and the South Korean Revolution in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" given on 14 April 1965, Kim Il-sung outlined the three fundamental principles of Juche: Political independence Economic self-sustenance Self-reliance in defence On the Juche Idea, the main work on Juche, was published in North Korea in Kim Jong-il's name in 1982. In North Korea it functions as "the authoritative and comprehensive explanation of Juche". According to the treatise, the Workers' Party of Korea is responsible for indoctrinating the masses in the ways of Juche thinking. According to the treatise, Juche is inexorably linked with Kim Il-sung and it "represents the guiding idea of the Korean Revolution we are confronted with the honorable task of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea". Kim Jong-il states in the work that Juche is not a creative application of Marxism–Leninism, but rather "a new era in the development of human history" while criticizing the "communists and nationalists" of the 1920s for their elitist posture, claiming that they were "divorced from the masses".
The WPK's break with basic premises of Marxism–Leninism emerges more in the article "Let Us March Under the Banner of Marxism–Leninism and the Juche Idea". In August 1997, the Central People's Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea promulgated regulations regarding use of the Juche Era calendar. Gregorian calendar dates are used for years before 1912 while years from 1912 are described as "Juche years"; the Gregorian year 2019, for example, is "Juche 108" as 2019-1911=108. When used, "Juche years" are accompanied by the Gregorian equivalent, i.e. "Juche 108, 2019" or "Juche 108". Kim's regime saw Juche principles as applicable around the world, not just in Korea. Since 1976 North Korea has organized international seminars on Juche; the International Scientific Seminar on the Juche Idea took place in Antananarivo from 28 September to 30 September 1976 under the sponsorship of the Democratic Republic of Madagasc
Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea
The Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea is the highest party body between WPK national meetings. According to WPK rules, the Central Committee is elected by the party congress and the party conference can be conferred the right to renew its membership composition. In practice, the Central Committee has the ability to dismiss and appoint new members without consulting with the wider party at its own plenary sessions; the 1st Central Committee was elected at the 1st WPK Congress in 1946. It was composed of 43-members; the numbers of Central Committee members have increased since with the 7th Congress in 2017 electing 235-members. Non-voting members referred to as alternate members at the present, was introduced at the 2nd Congress; the Central Committee convenes at least once a year for a plenary session, shall function as a top forum for discussion about relevant policy issues. It operates on the principle of the Great Leader theory; the role of the Central Committee has varied throughout history.
In its early history until the August Faction Incident it was a forum in which different factions competed. Since it has exercises power through formal procedures defined in the party rules. However, its actual ability to affect outcomes of national-level personnel decisions is non-existent, as that function has been, in practice, carried out by the Kim family and the Politburo. Nonetheless, Central Committee plenums function as venues whereby policy is formally implemented and public announcements made. Decisions are released publicly in the form of "resolutions" or "decisions"; the Central Committee was established at the 1st Congress. It was composed of 43-members, has since expanded at all congresses. From 1948 to 1961 an average of 2.4 meetings per year were held, about the same rate as the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Meetings held during this period did not exceed one day; the Central Committee's power lay not in how it met but in its apparatus. Controlled by the Politburo rather than the Central Committee, the apparatus was the nominal government of North Korea under Kim Il-sung.
The Central Committee was not convened for a plenary session between 1993 and 2010. It was a 37-year intervall between the 7th Congress; the Central Committee and its apparatus was weakened under Kim Jong-il, with several offices remaining unfilled. Beginning in 2005 he took several steps to revitalize the party, appointing senior officials to new posts. Pak Nam Gi was appointed head of the Planning and Finance Department, Jang Song-thaek was appointed head of the Administrative Department. Overseeing all security matters, Jang was indirectly restored to his duties and responsibilities as head of the Organization and Guidance Department; the 3rd Conference of Representatives renewed the composition of the Central Committee. The party congress elects the Central Committee; the election process, its appointment, is dismissed as rubber stamp. The common belief is that the composition of the Central Committee has been decided upon in advance by the previous Central Committee and/or the Politburo, that the election process is rigged.
The WPK charter defines the party as "the party of the Great Leader", stresses that the party is subordinate to the Great Leader. This influences the party's internal procedures and its electoral process as the party has to be loyal to the Great Leader; the Charter prescribes that the size of the central committee is determined by the congress presidium. The Central Committee Plenary Session is empowered to renew its rank if "necessary". Candidates can be nominated by the provincial committees, but the Central Committee through the Organization and Guidance Department has the final say. In between sessions of party congresses and conferences, the Central Committee is the highest WPK institution, it is not a permanent body and, according to the WPK Charter, shall convene at least once a year. The Politburo summons the Central Committee for plenary sessions. A plenary session shall consist of, according to the WPK Charter and deciding on "important issues of the party" and its empowered to elect the Politburo and its Presidium, Executive Policy Bureau, the Central Military Commission, the Control Commission, WPK vice-chairmen, heads of CC departments and lower-level provincial posts.
It was empowered to elect the party's leader. It can elevate alternate, non-voting members to full members, appoint new voting and non-voting members to the Central Committee at its plenary sessions; the Politburo the Political Committee, was the main decision-making body of the WPK until the establishment of the Presidium. The Politburo has full and candidate members, is the highest WPK decision-making body when it convenes for meetings; until the 3rd Conference, the Politburo was elected by the Central Committee after a congress. Although the party charter specifies that the Politburo should meet at least once a month, there is little evidence that this happens. Politburo members may serve concurrently on party or state commissions, the government or the Central Committee apparatus. Evidence suggests that the Politburo functions much like the CPSU Politburo under Stalin, with Politburo members acting as the party leader's personal staff rather than as policy-makers; this wasn't always the case.
Since Kim Il-sung's c