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The Cabinet

The Cabinet can be considered the administrative state body that serves as North Korea’s ‘government’. However, North Korea’s Cabinet differs in nature from the traditional concept of the administrative body as laid down by the principle of checks and balances.

Functionally, the Cabinet is an ‘administrative executive body’ or a ‘state management body’ while politically it is an inferior body, subject to direction and supervision by the KWP (Korea Workers’ Party) and the SPA (Supreme People’s Assembly). As of 2005, the Cabinet consists of 33 divisions including two committees, 27 ministries, a research institute, a bank, and two bureaus (‘guks’). The Cabinet is headed by the Premier, with several Vice Premiers and Ministers (‘Sangs’), who are in charge of each ministry. These positions are appointed by the SPA every 5 years.

Functions of the Cabinet

  • Drawing up measures to implement state policies
  • Enacting/amending regulations concerning state management, in accordance with the Constitution and other relevant laws
  • Supervision of the Cabinet’s committees, ministries, attached divisions, and regional people’s committees
  • Creating or disbanding organizations directly subordinate to the Cabinet, key administrative and economic organizations, and factories Drawing up measures to improve national management organizations
  • Drawing up and implementing national economic development plans
  • Drawing up and implementing national economic development plans
  • Organizing and executing projects in industry, agriculture, construction, postal service, trade, territorial management, urban management, education, science, culture, health, athletics, labor administration, environmental conservation, tourism, etc.
  • Drawing up measures to enhance the monetary and financial system
  • Exercising control and inspection to maintain social order
  • Drawing up measures for maintaining social order, as well as protecting the rights of the people and the interests of state and social cooperative organizations
  • Conducting foreign policy, such as ratifying treaties
  • Canceling decisions or measures by administrative and economic organizations that run contrary to those of the Cabinet The Premier, representing the government, organizes and directs Cabinet-run projects.

Duty and Operation of the Cabinet

Task Execution and supervision of national administration
Duty Must answer to the SPA (or the Standing Committee if the Assembly is in recess) on domestic affairs
Full Meeting attended by all Cabinet members.
Cadre Meeting attended by the Premier, Vice Premiers, and other Cabinet members to discuss matters delegated from the full meeting

Administrative System of North Korea

(↓= supervises, → = appoints & supervises, ↑ ←= answers to)