North Korea political hierarchy is principally a multi part democratic system but in practice it is single party state system functioning under the totalitarian family dictatorship and described evenly as a thorough monarchy with Kim II – sung and his heirs. This implies that the democracy is not being followed in North Korea in totality.
North Korea political hierarchy is built upon the concept of centralization where the whole control of the country’s politics lies with one single entity. On one hand the North Korean constitution ensures the protection of human rights while in original practice there are various restrictions and limits on the freedom of expression. These factors are quite contradictory. Moreover the North Korean government supervises the lives of its people quite very closely.
The major levels of the North Korea political hierarchy are:
- The Supreme People’s Assembly
- The Executive Branch
- The Central People’s Committee
- The State Administrative Council
- The Judiciary
Though the North Korean constitution provides provisions for absolute democracy yet the Supreme leader Kim Jong – II exercised thorough power as well as control over the country and the government until the year 2011. The scenario has changed now and so is the North Korean political hierarchy which is described below in brief in a format of ladder starting with the highest one and ending with the lowest one.
The Supreme People’s Assembly – The Supreme People’s Assembly is abbreviated as SPA. The SPA is considered the highest organ of state power by constitution. This is not influential at all and provides legislation independently of other state and party organs. The constitution provides for the SPA to be elected every five years by universal suffrage.
The Executive Branch – This branch of the North Korean political hierarchy incorporates the President as well as the Vice Presidents. The President is the head of the government as well as head of the state. He possesses the capacity as a chairman of the Central People’s Committee. SPA elects a President once every four years. The constitution announces two Vice Presidents to assist the President but does not elaborate the mode of succession.
The Central People’s Committee – The Central People’s Committee is the next rank in the North Korean political hierarchy and is the top most executive decision making body, abbreviated normally as CPC.
The State Administrative Council – The highest available administrative arm of the North Korean government since 1972 has been the State Administrative Council. This next level of the North Korean political hierarchy means the State Administration Council has a similar function to that of the cabinet, but is directed by the president and the CPC.
The Judiciary – The lowest level in the North Korea political hierarchy is the Judiciary which is the branch that is responsible for enforcement of law. In North Korean political system both prosecuting and adjudicative bodies function as powerful and strong weapons for the proletarian dictatorship.