Prime Minister of North Korea

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Premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Pak Pong-ju

since 1 April 2013
Inaugural holder Kim Il-sung
Formation 9 September 1948
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 Premier of the Cabinet (Chosŏn'gŭl총리; Hancha總理; MRChongni) is nominally the non-executive head of government of North Korea. He is commonly known in the English-speaking world as Prime Minister of North Korea.


Originally, under the 1948 Constitution of the DPRK, the prime minister was a very important post and held actual power over the government. Kim Il-sung himself inaugurated the post, keeping it for 24 years until 1972, while the ceremonial role of the head of State rested in the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly.

The 1972 Constitution created the post of President of the DPRK for Kim Il-sung, transferring to it all the paramount power. The prime minister was now the head of the Administration Council, but most of the powers of the former cabinet were passed to the Central People's Committee, the highest ruling council chaired by the president himself. The first prime minister after Kim Il-sung was his long-time ally Kim Il. The post was then officially known as Premier of the Administration Council (관리위원회의 프리미어, Gwanli wiwonhoe ui peulimieo).

After Kim Il-sung died, the post of president remained vacant (officially Kim Il-sung was proclaimed Eternal President) as Kim Jong-il planned a new State reorganization. A constitution revision in 1998 abolished both the Central People's Committee and the Administration Council, re-creating the Cabinet.


The prime minister represents and oversees the cabinet, which is charged with executing the policies decided by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. The office has no policy-making authority of its own.

The prime minister now shares power with the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (i.e. the head of State) and the Chairman of the National Defence Commission (i.e. the military supreme commander), although it was clear it is the lowest of the three: significantly, Kim Jong-il was NDC Chairman uninterruptedly from 1993 until 2011, and Kim Yong-nam has been President of the SPA Presidium since 1998, while the prime ministers have often changed.

The prime minister is represented by a number of deputy prime ministers.

Lists of Prime Ministers of North Korea[edit]

Vice Premier of North Korea[edit]

There are two post of Vice Premier in North Korea and act as a high-ranking executive assistant to the Premier.

Currently there is only one title holder, Kim Tok-hun.

List of previous officer holders:

See also[edit]