National Assembly of the
Republic of Korea

대한민국 국회
大韓民國國會

Daehanminguk Gukhoe
22nd National Assembly
Emblem of the National Assembly of Korea (1948-2014).svg
Logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Woo Won-shik, Independent
Deputy Speaker
Lee Hak-young, Democratic
Deputy Speaker
Structure
Seats300
Political groups
Government (108)
  •   People Power (108)

Opposition (192)

Length of term
4 years
SalaryUS$128,610
Elections
Additional-member system
Last election
10 April 2024
Next election
April 2028
Meeting place
Main Conference Room
National Assembly Building, Seoul
37°31′55.21″N 126°54′50.66″E / 37.5320028°N 126.9140722°E / 37.5320028; 126.9140722
Website
www.assembly.go.kr Edit this at Wikidata

The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, often shortened to the National Assembly, is the unicameral national legislature of South Korea.[1] Elections to the National Assembly are held every four years. The latest legislative elections was held on 10 April 2024. The current National Assembly held its first meeting, and also began its current four year term, on 30 May 2024.[2][3] The next Speaker was elected 5 June 2024.[4][5] The National Assembly has 300 seats, with 253 constituency seats and 47 proportional representation seats; 30 of the PR seats are assigned an additional member system, while 17 PR seats use the parallel voting method.

The unicameral assembly consists of at least 200 members according to the South Korean constitution. In 1990 the assembly had 299 seats, 224 of which were directly elected from single-member districts in the general elections of April 1988. Under applicable laws, the remaining seventy-five representatives were elected from party lists. By law, candidates for election to the assembly must be at least thirty years of age. As part of a political compromise in 1987, an earlier requirement that candidates have at least five years' continuous residency in the country was dropped to allow Kim Dae-jung, who had spent several years in exile in Japan and the United States during the 1980s, to return to political life. The National Assembly's term is four years. In a change from the more authoritarian Fourth Republic and Fifth Republic (1972–81 and 1981–87, respectively), under the Sixth Republic, the assembly cannot be dissolved by the president.

Building

Main article: Korea National Assembly Proceeding Hall

The National Assembly Building in Seoul

The main building in Yeouido, Seoul, is a stone structure with seven stories above ground and one story below ground. The building has 24 columns, which means the legislature's promise to listen to people 24/7 throughout the year.[6]

Structure and appointment

Speaker

Main article: Speaker of the National Assembly of South Korea

The constitution stipulates that the assembly is presided over by a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers,[7] who are responsible for expediting the legislative process. The Speaker and Deputy Speakers are elected in a secret ballot by the members of the Assembly, and their term in office is restricted to two years.[8] The Speaker is independent of party affiliation, and the Speaker and Deputy Speakers may not simultaneously be government ministers.[8]

Negotiation groups

Parties that hold at least 20 seats in the assembly form floor negotiation groups (Korean: 교섭단체, Hanja: 交涉團體, RR: gyoseop danche), which are entitled to a variety of rights that are denied to smaller parties. These include a greater amount of state funding and participation in the leaders' summits that determine the assembly's legislative agenda.[9]

In order to meet the quorum, the United Liberal Democrats, who then held 17 seats, arranged to "rent" three legislators from the Millennium Democratic Party. The legislators returned to the MDP after the collapse of the ULD-MDP coalition in September 2001.[10]

Legislative process

See also: Legislative elections in South Korea

This graph traces the recent origins of all six main political parties currently in the Republic of Korea. All of which have either split from or merged with other parties in the last four years. They have emerged from four main ideological camps, from Left to Right: Progressive (socialist), liberal, centrist, and conservative.

For a legislator to introduce a bill, they must submit the proposal to the Speaker, accompanied by the signatures of at least ten other assembly members. A committee must then review the bill to verify that it employs precise and orderly language. Following this, the Assembly may either approve or reject the bill.[11]

Committees

There are 17 standing committees which examine bills and petitions falling under their respective jurisdictions, and perform other duties as prescribed by relevant laws.[12]

Election

Allocation of seats within the electoral system. Red and green: parallel voting; 253 FPTP and 17 PR seats. Blue: additional member system for 30 seats

See also: Legislative elections in South Korea

The National Assembly has 300 seats, with 254 constituency seats under FPTP and 46 proportional representation seats. With electoral reform taken in 2019, the PR seats apportionment method was replaced by a variation of additional member system from the previous parallel voting system. However, 17 seats were temporarily assigned under parallel voting in the 2020 South Korean legislative election.[13]

Per Article 189 of Public Official Election Act,[14][15] the PR seats are awarded to parties that have either obtained at least 3% of the total valid votes in the legislative election or at least five constituency seats. The number of seats allocated to each eligible party is decided by the formula:

where

If the integer is less than 1, then ninitial is set to 0 and the party does not get any seats. Then the sum of initially allocated seats is compared to the total seats for the additional member system and recalculated.

Final seats are assigned through the largest remainder method, and if the remainder is equal, the winner is determined by lottery among the relevant political parties.

The voting age was also lowered from 19 to 18 years old, expanding the electorate by over half a million voters.[16]

Legislative violence

From 2004 to 2009, the assembly gained notoriety as a frequent site for legislative violence.[17] The Assembly first came to the world's attention during a violent dispute on impeachment proceedings for then President Roh Moo-hyun,[18][19] when open physical combat took place in the assembly. Since then, it has been interrupted by periodic conflagrations, piquing the world's curiosity once again in 2009 when members battled each other with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers. The National Assembly since then has taken preventive measures to prevent any more legislative violence.[20][21][22]

Historical composition

  Progressive -   Liberal -   Independent politician -   Conservative

Election Total
seats
Composition
1st
(1948)
200
29 85 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 6 12 55
2nd
(1950)
210
2 24 126 1 1 1 1 3 3 10 14 24
3rd
(1954)
203
15 67 1 3 3 114
4th
(1958)
233
79 26 1 127
5th
(1960)
233
4 1 175 49 1 1 2
6th
(1963)
175
40 14 2 9 110
7th
(1967)
175
1 45 129
8th
(1971)
204
1 89 1 113
9th
(1973)
219
2 52 19 146
10th
(1978)
231
3 61 22 145
11th
(1981)
276
2 81 2 11 1 1 2 25 151
12th
(1985)
276
1 67 35 1 4 20 148
13th
(1988)
299
1 70 59 9 35 125
14th
(1992)
299
97 21 1 31 149
15th
(1996)
299
79 15 16 50 139
16th
(2000)
273
115 17 5 1 2 133
17th
(2004)
299
10 152 9 2 1 4 121
18th
(2008)
299
5 81 3 25 18 153 14
19th
(2012)
300
13 127 3 5 152
20th
(2016)
300
6 123 11 38 122
21st
(2020)
300
6 3 180 5 3 103
22nd
(2024)
300
1 12 175 1 3 108

History

First Republic

See also: First Republic of Korea

Elections for the assembly were held under UN supervision[23] on 10 May 1948. The First Republic of Korea was established on 17 July 1948[24] when the constitution of the First Republic was established by the Assembly. The Assembly also had the job of electing the president and elected anti-communist Syngman Rhee as president on 10 May 1948.

Under the first constitution, the National Assembly was unicameral. Under the second and third constitutions, the National Assembly was to be bicameral and consist of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, but in practice, the legislature was unicameral because the House of Representatives was prevented from passing the law necessary to establish the House of Councillors.

  Conservative   Liberal   Progressive

  majority   plurality only   largest minority

National
Assembly
Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
1st
(1948)
  NARRKINA 55 1948 Rhee Syng-man (supported by NARRKI)
1948–1950 Shin Ik-hee (supported by NARRKI until 1949)
29 KDPDNP  
116 others
2nd
(1950)
DNP 24 Shin Ik-hee (supported by DNP) 24 KNP
14 NA
148 others
3rd
(1954)
  LP 114 Yi Ki-bung (supported by LP) 15 DNPDP (55)
3 NA
3 KNP
68 others
4th
(1958)
LP 126 Yi Ki-bung (supported by LP) 79 DP (55)
28 others

Second Republic

See also: Second Republic of Korea

House of Representatives Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
5th
(1960)
  DP (55) 175 Kwak Sang-hoon (supported by DP (55)) 58 Others  
House of Councillors Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats President Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
5th
(1960)
  DP (55) 31 Paek Nak-chun (supported by DP (55)) 27 Others  

Third Republic

See also: Third Republic of Korea

Since the reopening of the National Assembly in 1963 until today, it has been unicameral.

National
Assembly
Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
6th
(1963)
  DRP 110 Lee Hyu-sang (supported by DRP) 41 CRP→DRPNDP  
13 DP (55)DRPNDP
7th
(1967)
DRP 129 Lee Hyu-sang (supported by DRP) 45 NDP
8th
(1971)
  DRP 113 Baek Du-jin (supported by DRP) 89 NDP

Fourth Republic

See also: Fourth Republic of Korea

National
Assembly
Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
9th
(1973)
  DRP+Presidential appointees 146 Chung Il-kwon (supported by DRP) 52 NDP  
10th
(1978)
DRP+Presidential appointees

KNP
145 1978–1979 Chung Il-kwon (supported by DRP)
1979 Baek Du-jin (supported by DRP)
61 NDP

Fifth Republic

See also: Fifth Republic of Korea

National
Assembly
Majority
Party
Majority
Leader
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
Leaders
Minority
Parties
11th
(1981)
  DJP 151 1981–1983 Chung Rae-hyung (supported by DJP)
1983–1985 Chae Mun-shik (supported by DJP)
81 DKP  
25 KNP
12th
(1985)
DJP 148 Lee Jae-hyung (supported by DJP) 67 NKDP
35 DKP
20 KNP

Sixth Republic

See also: Sixth Republic of South Korea

  majority   plurality   largest minority

Term
(Election)
Speaker Conservative
current: PPP
Liberal
current: DP
Progressive
current: PP
Miscellaneous
right
Miscellaneous
left
Independent
13th (1988) Kim Jae-sun (1988–90)
Park Jyun-kyu (1990–92)
125 70 - 36 59 9
14th (1992) Park Jyun-kyu (1992–93)
Hwang Nak-joo (1993)
Lee Man-sup (1993–94)
Park Jyun-kyu (1994–96)
149 97 - - 31 21
15th (1996) Kim Soo-han (1996–98)
Park Jyun-kyu (1998–00)
139 79 - 65 - 16
16th (2000) Lee Man-sup (2000–02)
Park Kwan-yong (2002–04)
133 115 - 20 - 5
17th (2004) Kim Won-ki (2004–06)
Lim Chae-jung (2006–08)
121 152 10 4 9 3
18th (2008) Kim Hyong-o (2008–10)
Park Hee-tae (2010–12)
Chung Eui-hwa (2012)
153 81 5 32 3 25
19th (2012) Kang Chang-hee (2012–14)
Chung Ui-hwa (2014–16)
152 127 13 5 - 3
20th (2016) Chung Sye-kyun (2016–18)
Moon Hee-sang (2018–20)
122 123 6 - 38 11
21st (2020) Park Byeong-seug (2020–22)
Kim Jin-pyo (2022–24)
103 180 6 3 3 5
22nd (2024) Woo Won-shik (2024–26) 108 171 3 3 15 0

Members

Main article: List of members of the National Assembly (South Korea)

Television broadcast

Main article: National Assembly TV

Symbols

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Article 21, Clause 1 of the Election Law
  2. ^ "1st meeting of 22nd parliament's DP lawmakers". Yonhap. 30 May 2024. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  3. ^ Wonju, Yi (30 May 2024). "National Assembly begins new 4-year term". Yonhap. Retrieved 4 June 2024.
  4. ^ "DP's Woo Won-shik Elected as Speaker of 22nd National Assembly amid PPP Boycott". 5 June 2024. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  5. ^ Jung-joo, Lee (30 May 2024). "22nd Assembly begins new 4-year term". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  6. ^ "HISTORY & HERITAGE". The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea.
  7. ^ Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
  8. ^ a b Park, Young-Do (2010). "Kapitel 2: Verfassungsrecht". Einführung in das koreanische Recht [Introduction to Korean Law] (in German). Springer. p. 25. ISBN 9783642116032.
  9. ^ Youngmi Kim (2011). The Politics of Coalition in South Korea. Taylor & Francis, p. 65.
  10. ^ Y. Kim, pp. 68–9.
  11. ^ Park 2010, p. 27.
  12. ^ "Standing Committees and Special Committees of the National Assembly". National Assembly (in Korean).
  13. ^ 김, 광태 (23 December 2019). "(2nd LD) Opposition party launches filibuster against electoral reform bill". Yonhap News Agency. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  14. ^ "국가법령정보센터". www.law.go.kr. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  15. ^ "국가법령정보센터". www.law.go.kr. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  16. ^ "18-year-olds Hit the Polls for First Time in S. Korea". Korea Bizwire. 15 April 2020. Archived from the original on 19 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  17. ^ "The World's Most Unruly Parliaments". 16 September 2009.
  18. ^ "South Korean president impeached". 12 March 2004 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  19. ^ "In pictures: Impeachment battle". 12 March 2004 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  20. ^ Glionna, By John M. (28 January 2009). "South Korea lawmakers: Reaching across the aisle with a sledgehammer". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^ "South Korean politicians use fire extinguishers against opposition". 18 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  22. ^ "Hall of Violence". 2 March 2009.
  23. ^ Setting the Stage Archived 16 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ ICL – South Korea Index Archived 13 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine