Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea

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Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea
Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.svg
Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea
Kim Jong-Un Photorealistic-Sketch.jpg
Incumbent
Kim Jong-un

since 9 May 2016
Style Comrade (among many titles)
Type Party leader
Member of Central Committee
Politburo Standing Committee
Central Military Commission
Executive Policy Bureau
State Affairs Commission
Appointer Central Committee
Precursor General Secretary (1966–2011)
First Secretary (2012–2016)
Inaugural holder Kim Tu-bong
28 August 1946
Formation 9 May 2016
Unofficial names Supreme leader
Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea
Chosŏn'gŭl 조선로동당 위원장
Hancha 朝鮮勞動黨 委員長
Revised Romanization Joseon Rodongdang Wiwonjang
McCune–Reischauer Chosŏn Rodongdang Wiwonjang
Emblem of North Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea is the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of North Korea and the most powerful person in the government as the Supreme Leader of one-party North Korea.

History[edit]

The party has been led by four offices during its existence: Chairman of the Central Committee (1946–1966), General Secretary of the Central Committee (1966–1994, vacant until 1997), General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (1997–2012) and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (since 2012). The office of Chairman of the Central Committee was established at the 1st Congress (held in August 1946), and elected Kim Tu-bong (who was not a member of the Kim family) to the office.[1] It was replaced at the October 1966 2nd Conference by the General Secretary of the Central Committee; through this office, Kim Il-sung became the formal head of the party's Secretariat.[2] After Kim Il-sung's death in 1994, the post was vacant for three years.[3] On 8 October 1997, Kim Jong-il was appointed to the new office of General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in a joint announcement by the Central Committee (CC) and the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Workers' Party of Korea: "[The CC and the CMC] pronounce comrade Kim Jong-il as general secretary of the party, based upon the wishes of the entire People's Army, people, and the members of the party."[3] At the 3rd Conference, the party charter was amended to require the general secretary to concurrently chair the Central Military Commission.[4] When Kim Jong-il died the WPK left the post of General Secretary vacant at the 4th Conference, making him "Eternal General Secretary".[5] Kim Jong-un was elected to the office of First Secretary (later that of Chairman as of 2016) of the Workers' Party of Korea,[5] which was established to "represent and lead the whole party as its head and ... materialize the ideas and lines of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il."[6]

Officeholders[edit]

Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Took office Left office
Chairman of the Central Committee
(1946–1966)
Kim Tu-bong
(1889–1958)
Kim Tu-bong.jpg 28 August 1946 30 June 1949
Kim Il-sung
(1912–1994)
Kim Il Sung Portrait-2.jpg 30 June 1949 11 October 1966
General Secretary of the Central Committee
(1966–1994)
Kim Il-sung
(1912–1994)
Kim Il Sung Portrait-2.jpg 11 October 1966 8 July 1994
General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea
(1997–2011)
Kim Jong-il
(1942–2011)
Kim Jong il Portrait.jpg 8 October 1997 17 December 2011
Eternal General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea
(2012–present)
Kim Jong-il
(1942–2011)
Kim Jong il Portrait.jpg 11 April 2012 Incumbent
First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea
(2012–2016)
Kim Jong-un
(born 1984)
Kim Jong-Un Photorealistic-Sketch.jpg 11 April 2012 9 May 2016
Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea
(2016–present)
Kim Jong-un
(born 1984)
Kim Jong-Un Photorealistic-Sketch.jpg 9 May 2016 Incumbent


References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Articles, books and journal entries[edit]

Books[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Lankov 2002, p. 31.
  2. ^ Buzo 1999, p. 34.
  3. ^ a b Yŏnʼguso 1997, p. 668.
  4. ^ "4th Party Conference To Convene in "mid-April"". North Korea Leadership Watch. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Park & Snyder 2013, pp. 40–41.
  6. ^ Frank 2013, p. 45.