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World > Asia > Korea, South > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Korea, South - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The Republic of Korea (commonly known as 'South Korea') is a republic with powers nominally shared among the presidency, the legislature, and the judiciary, but traditionally dominated by the president. The president is chief of state and is elected for a single term of 5 years. The 299 members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected to 4-year terms--243 members are from single-seat districts and 56 members are chosen by proportional representation. South Korea?s judicial system comprises a Supreme Court, appellate courts, and a Constitutional Court. The judiciary is independent under the constitution. The country has nine provinces and seven administratively separate cities--the capital of Seoul, along with Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju, Incheon and Ulsan. Political parties include the Uri Party (Uri), Grand National Party (GNP), Democratic Labor Party (DLP), Democratic Party (DP), and People Centered Party (PCP). Suffrage is universal at age 19 (lowered from 20 in 2005).

In December 2002, President Roh Moo-hyun was elected to a single 5-year term of office. In the April 2004 elections, the ruling Uri Party won a slim but outright majority in the National Assembly. Because of the loss of seats in by-elections and as a result of convictions for election law violations, Uri no longer has a majority, but does retain a plurality of seats.

Principal Government Officials
President--Roh Moo-hyun
Prime Minister--Han Duck-soo
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resource Development--Kim Shin-il
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy--Kwon O-kyu
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technology--Kim Woo-shik
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry--Im Sang-kyu
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy--Kim Young-ju
Minister of Construction and Transportation--Lee Yong-sup
Minister of Culture and Tourism--Kim Jong-min
Minister of Environment--Lee Chi-beom
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade--Song Min-soon
Minister of Gender Equality and Family--Jang Ha-jin
Minister of Government Administration & Home Affairs--Park Myung-jae
Minister of Government Policy Coordination--Kim Young-ju
Minister of Health and Welfare--Rhyu Si-min
Minister of Information and Communication--Rho Jun-hyong
Minister of Justice--Kim Sung-ho
Minister of Labor Affairs--Lee Sang-soo
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries--Kang Moo-hyun
Minister of National Defense--Kim Jang-soo
Minister of Planning and Budget--Chang Byoung-wan
Minister of Unification--Lee Jae-jong
Director of the National Intelligence Service--Kim Man-bok
Chief Secretary to the President for Unification, Foreign, and Security Policy--Baek Jong-chun
Ambassador to the U.S.--Lee Tae-sik
Ambassador to the UN--Choi Young-jin

Korea maintains an embassy in the United States at 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-5600). Consulates General are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Hagatna (Agana) in Guam.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Korean Won Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Korean Won Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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