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DPRK - Local Government

North Korea is divided into nine provinces (do)—Chagang, North Hamgyang, South Hamgyang, North Hwanghae, South Hwanghae, Kangwan, North P’yangan, South P’yangan, and Yanggang; two province-level municipalities (chikalsi or jikhalsi)— P’yangyang and Najin–Sanbong; and one special city (t’ukpyalsi)—Namp’o. Other cities are under provincial control.

There are three levels of local government. The first level includes provinces (do) and province-level municipalities (chikalsi or jikhalsi). The second level includes ordinary cities (si or shi), urban districts (kuyak), and counties (gun or kun). The third level is made up of traditional villages (ri, or ni). Cities are subdivided into wards (gu), and some cities and wards are subdivided into neighborhoods (dong), the lowest level of urban government to have its own office and staff.

Each administrative division has its own regional people’s assembly. Local People's Assemblies are "Provincial (or municipality directly under the central authority), municipal (district), and county local people’s assemblies are local sovereign power organs. The LPA consists of deputies elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Local People's Committees are Provincial (or municipality directly under the central authority), municipal (district), and county local people’s committees are local sovereign power organs when the corresponding LPAs are in recess, and are administrative executive organs of local sovereignty.

The term of office of the people’s assembly of the province (or municipality directly under central authority), city (or district) and county is four years. Officials leading these various levels of government are elected by local Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) committees, local people’s assemblies, and local administrative committees. Local people’s assemblies at all levels perform the same symbolic legislative duties as the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA).

One of the most conspicuous laws in the North is the Pyongyang City Management Law. It stresses that the capital city is superior to any other city and should therefore deserve special treatment. North Korea’s founder and former leader Kim Il-sung once said, “Only those who support the party are entitled to live in Pyongyang, which is the capital of revolution. Armed with the party’s unique ideology, those who uphold party policies and work diligently are allowed to live there.” Those remarks reflect that only those in the upper class can reside in the capital.

The Pyongyang City Management Law is designed to manage and foster Pyongyang as a special city. Under the law, state agencies, as well as organizations and enterprises, should provide food and fuel to Pyongyang first, while Pyongyang citizens are required to serve as a model and keep their honor and dignity. The law regulates every little problem, including the city environment and even Pyongyang citizens’ clothes and appearances.




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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 11:42:42 ZULU