List of leaders of North Korea

This is a list of the historical occupation of the important offices of state in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The political situation is characterized by the dominance of the Kim family under a communist dictatorship. Basis of the exercise of power are the Workers' Party of Korea ( WPK ) and the Korean People's Army substantially. Formally, the highest organ of the state, the Supreme People's Assembly, the Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. The crucial point of the country's leadership is primarily the National Defense Commission, whose chairman holds the highest office in the state.

The official political structures occur behind the claim to power of this family. Since the independence of North Korea's de facto power lies with Kim Il-sung (1948-1994), his son Kim Jong- il (1994-2011) and his son Kim Jong-un (since 2011). Basis of power here is primarily belonging to the ruling family and less vesting of certain offices. Thus each of the three rulers held several offices after or behind one another. All three had the positions held as head of state, party and military, with the exact official designations could change: Kim Il-sung was still president; an office which was conferred on him after his death in 1994 by a constitutional amendment of 1998 to eternity. Similar happened in 2011 on the death of Kim Jong- il, who was declared the " Eternal General Secretary of the Workers' Party " and a "perpetual chairman of the Military Commission ." These offices designations were therefore no longer available for their successors.

Supreme Leader

This is not an office. The term tries to describe the absolute power of the Kim family.

Heads of State

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly (1948-1972), President (1972-1994), Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (since 1994)

Prime minister

Speaker of Parliament

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly (1948-1998), chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly (since 1998)

Chronology of offices episode


  • Ruler list on (English)