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DPRK - 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.

The Cabinet is the administrative and executive body of the highest state power and organ of overall state administration. The Premier of the Cabinet represents the Government of the DPRK. The Cabinet is accountable for its work to the Supreme People’s Assembly and to the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly when the Supreme People’s Assembly is not in session.

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.

  • 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.


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • State Planning Commission
  • Ministry of Electricity and Coal Industry
  • Ministry of Mining Industry
  • Ministry of Metal and Machine Industry
  • Ministry of Electronic Industry
  • Ministry of Construction and Building Material Industry
  • Ministry of Railways
  • Ministry of Land and Marine Transport
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Chemical Industry
  • Ministry of Light Industry
  • Ministry of Foreign Trade
  • Ministry of Forestry
  • Ministry of Fisheries
  • Ministry of City Management
  • Ministry of Land and Environment Protection
  • Ministry of State Construction Inspection
  • Ministry of Commerce
  • Ministry of Purchasing and Food Administration
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Communications
  • Ministry of Culture
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Labor
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • Ministry of State Inspection
  • Academy of Sciences
  • Korean Physical Education and Sports Guidance Commission
  • Korean Central Bank
  • Korean Central Statistics Bureau

The 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) convened 1 April 2013, the first time since elections were held last month. Kim Jong Un presided over the session and members were elected for positions within the SPA, the SPA Presidium which is the ultimate power base and members of the National Defence Commission (NDC). It also appointed members of the Cabinet.

Pak Pong Ju (74) retained his position as Premier which he first occupied between 2003 – 2007 and then again from 1st April 2013. The most commented change was the appointment of Ri Su-Yong. As a former associate of Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of Kim Jong-Un who was executed late last year, some newspapers had reported that Ri had also been executed. That was dismissed when his name appeared on the list for the elections last month but this new appointment is a promotion. At the session, Deputy Choe Yong-rim was recalled from the post of premier of the DPRK Cabinet and Deputy Pak Pong-ju was elected premier of the DPRK Cabinet.

Pak Pong-ju is a career technocrat, took the post of premier in 2003 to implement an ambitious economic reform policy that allowed autonomy in farm production and pricing liberalisation that was brought in in July 2002. But he was removed in 2007 when it became clear the steps aimed at boosting the impoverished state's economy.

Respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un delivered the New Year Address on January 1, Juche 107 (2018). Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un stated: "The Cabinet and other economic guidance organs should work out a realistic operational plan to carry out the national economic plan for this year and push forward the work for its implementation responsibly and persistently. Positive measures should be taken by the state to ensure that the socialist system of responsible business operation proves its worth in factories, enterprises and cooperative organizations."

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Page last modified: 14-01-2018 18:38:41 ZULU