The Party ‘commands’ the state, while the Chairman ‘commands’ the Party. This is the basic principle that is observed throughout North Korea regime. The SPA (Supreme People’s Assembly), as the representative of the people, is the vehicle through which the Party carries out its decisions. Therefore, the SPA is the highest political body in North Korea. The SPA appoints key government officials such as the Premier to carry out actual administrative duties. As, in principle, power is not centralized in the President or the Cabinet, the regime may be regarded as an ‘Assembly State’. The former Soviet Union and China both followed this model.
Although the SPA is supposedly the highest political body in North Korea, the SPA is ‘commanded’ by the Party, which is in turn ‘commanded’ by the Chairman. Therefore, regardless of the title by which the Chairman is addressed, he is the de facto commander-in-chief of the entire state in political, defense, diplomatic, national security, economic, industrial, commercial, social, cultural, and artistic matters. Therefore, the core of North Korea regime is the Party, of which the Chairman is the ‘commander’.