National Assembly of the
Republic of Korea

대한민국 국회

Daehanminguk Gukhoe
21st National Assembly
Emblem of the National Assembly of Korea (1948-2014).svg
Kim Jin-pyo, Independent
since 4 July 2022
Deputy Speaker
Kim Young-joo, Democratic
since 4 July 2022
Deputy Speaker
Chung Woo-taik, People Power
since 10 November 2022
Political groups
Majority (164)
  •   Democratic (164)

Minority (134)

Vacant (2)

  •   Vacant (2)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
15 April 2020
Next election
17 April 2024 (expected)
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

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 were held on 15 April 2020. The National Assembly has 300 seats, with 253 constituency seats and 47 proportional representation seats; 30 of the PR seats are assigned on 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.

Current composition

See also: 2020 South Korean legislative election and List of members of the National Assembly (South Korea), 2020–2024

Parties in the 21st National Assembly
Group Floor leader Seats % of seats
Democratic Hong Ihk-pyo 163 54.7%
People Power Yoon Jae-ok 112 37.3%
Green-Justice Bae Jin-gyo 6 2.0%
[[Basic Income Party|New Progressive Union] Yong Hye-in 1 0.3%
Progressive Kang Sung-hee 1 0.3%
New Reform Yang Hyang-ja 1 0.3%
New Future Kim Jong-min 1 0.3%
Independents 12 4.0%
Vacant 2 0.6%
Total 300 100.0%


  1. Negotiation groups can be formed by 20 or more members.

Structure and appointment

The National Assembly Building in Seoul


The constitution stipulates that the assembly is presided over by a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers,[2] 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.[3] The Speaker is independent of party affiliation, and the Speaker and Deputy Speakers may not simultaneously be government ministers.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Legislative process

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.

To introduce a bill, a legislator must present the initiative to the Speaker with the signatures of at least ten other members of the assembly. The bill must then be edited by a committee to ensure that the bill contains correct and systematic language. It can then be approved or rejected by the Assembly.[6]


There are 17 standing committees which examine bills and petitions falling under their respective jurisdictions, and perform other duties as prescribed by relevant laws.[7]


Allocation of seats within the electoral system. Red and green: parallel voting; 253 FPTP seats 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 253 constituency seats under FPTP and 47 proportional representation seats. With electoral reform taken in 2019, the PR seats apportionment method was replaced by a variation of additional member system from previous parallel voting system, although 17 seats were temporarily assigned under parallel voting in the 2020 South Korean legislative election.[8]

Per Article 189 of Public Official Election Act,[9][10] 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 are decided by the formula:


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 are compared to total seats for 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.[11]

Legislative violence

From 2004 to 2009, the assembly gained notoriety as a frequent site for legislative violence.[12] The Assembly first came to the world's attention during a violent dispute on impeachment proceedings for then President Roh Moo-hyun,[13][14] 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 have preventive measures to prevent any more legislative violence.[15][16][17]


First Republic

See also: First Republic of Korea

Elections for the assembly were held under UN supervision[18] on 10 May 1948. The First Republic of Korea was established on 17 July 1948[19] 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

Seats Speaker Seats Minority
  NARRKINA 55 1948 Rhee Syng-man (supported by NARRKI)
1948–1950 Shin Ik-hee (supported by NARRKI until 1949)
116 others
DNP 24 Shin Ik-hee (supported by DNP) 24 KNP
14 NA
148 others
  LP 114 Yi Ki-bung (supported by LP) 15 DNPDP (55)
3 NA
68 others
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
Seats Speaker Seats Minority
  DP (55) 175 Kwak Sang-hoon (supported by DP (55)) 58 Others  
House of Councillors Majority
Seats President Seats Minority
  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.

Seats Speaker Seats Minority
  DRP 110 Lee Hyu-sang (supported by DRP) 41 CRP→DRPNDP  
13 DP (55)DRPNDP
DRP 129 Lee Hyu-sang (supported by DRP) 45 NDP
  DRP 113 Baek Du-jin (supported by DRP) 89 NDP

Fourth Republic

See also: Fourth Republic of Korea

Seats Speaker Seats Minority
  DRP+Presidential appointees 146 Chung Il-kwon (supported by DRP) 52 NDP  
DRP+Presidential appointees

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

Seats Speaker Seats Minority
  DJP 151 1981–1983 Chung Rae-hyung (supported by DJP)
1983–1985 Chae Mun-shik (supported by DJP)
81 DKP  
25 KNP
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) Composition
(at commencement)
Speaker Majority floor leader Minority floor leader
(largest parliamentary group)
current: PPP
current: DP
current: JP
13th (1988) 70:104:125

Kim Jae-sun (1988–90)
Park Jyun-kyu (1990–92)
Yoon Gil-joong (1988)
Park Jyun-kyu (1988–90)
Park Tae-joon (1990)
Kim Young-sam (1990–92)
Kim Dae-jung
125 70 - 36 59 9
14th (1992) 97:52:149

Park Jyun-kyu (1992–93)
Hwang Nak-joo (1993)
Lee Man-sup (1993–94)
Park Jyun-kyu (1994–96)
Kim Young-sam (1992)
Kim Jong-pil (1992–95)
Lee Chun-gu (1995)
Kim Yoon-hwan (1995–96)
Kim Dae-jung (1992–93)
Lee Ki-taek (1993–95)
Kim Dae-jung (1995–96)
149 97 - - 31 21
15th (1996) 79:81:139

Kim Soo-han (1996–98)
Park Jyun-kyu (1998–00)
Lee Hong-koo (1996–97)
Lee Hoi-chang (1997)
Lee Man-sup (1997)
Lee Hoi-chang (1997)
Lee Han-dong (1997)
Mok Yo-sang (1997)
Lee Sang-deuk (1997–98)
Ha Sun-bong (1998)
Park Hee-tae (1998–99)
Lee Bu-young (1999–00)
Cho Se-hyeong (1996–99)
Kim Young-bae (1999)
Lee Man-sup (1999–00)
Seo Young-hoon (2000)
139 79 - 65 - 16
16th (2000) 115:25:133

Lee Man-sup (2000–02)
Park Kwan-yong (2002–04)
Jeon Chang-hwa (2000–01)
Lee Jae-oh (2001–02)
Lee Kyu-taek (2002–03)
Hong Sa-duk (2003–04)
Seo Young-hoon (2000)
Kim Jung-kwon (2000–01)
Han Kwang-ok (2001–02)
Han Hwa-gap (2002–03)
Chyung Dai-chul (2003)
Park Sang-cheon (2003)
Cho Soon-hyung (2003–04)
133 115 - 20 - 5
17th (2004) 10:152:16:121

Kim Won-ki (2004–06)
Lim Chae-jung (2006–08)
Chun Jung-bae (2004–05)
Chung Sye-kyun (2005–06)
Kim Han-gil (2006–07)
Chang Young-dal (2007–08)
Kim Hyo-seuk (2008)
Kim Deog-ryong (2004–05)
Kang Jae-sup (2005–06)
Lee Jae-oh (2006)
Kim Hyong-o (2006–07)
Ahn Sang-soo (2007–08)
121 152 10 4 9 3
18th (2008) 5:81:60:153

Kim Hyong-o (2008–10)
Park Hee-tae (2010–12)
Chung Eui-hwa (2012)
Hong Jun-pyo (2008–09)
Ahn Sang-soo (2009–10)
Kim Moo-sung (2010–11)
Hwang Woo-yea (2011–12)
Won Hye-young (2008–09)
Lee Kang-lae (2009–10)
Park Jie-won (2010–11)
Kim Jin-pyo (2011–12)
153 81 5 32 3 25
19th (2012) 13:127:8:152

Kang Chang-hee (2012–14)
Chung Ui-hwa (2014–16)
Lee Hahn-koo (2012–13)
Choi Kyoung-hwan (2013–14)
Lee Wan-koo (2014–15)
Yoo Seung-min (2015)
Won Yoo-chul (2015–16)
Park Jie-won (2012)
Park Ki-choon (2012–13)
Jun Byung-hun (2013–14)
Park Young-sun (2014)
Kim Yung-rok (2014)
Woo Yoon-keun (2014–15)
Lee Jong-kul (2015–16)
152 127 13 5 - 3
20th (2016) 6:123:49:122

Chung Sye-kyun (2016–18)
Moon Hee-sang (2018–20)
Woo Sang-ho (2016–17)
Woo Won-shik (2017–18)
Hong Young-pyo (2018–19)
Lee In-young (2019–20)
Chung Jin-suk (2016)
Chung Woo-taek (2016–17)
Kim Sung-tae (2017–18)
Na Kyung-won (2018–19)
Shim Jae-chul (2019–20)
122 123 6 - 38 11
21st (2020) 6:180:11:103

Park Byeong-seug (2020–2022)
Kim Jin-pyo (2022–present)
Yun Ho-jung (2020–2022)
Park Hong-keun (2022–present)
Joo Ho-young (2020–2021)
Kim Gi-hyeon (2021–2022)
Kweon Seong-dong (2022–present)
103 180 6 3 3 5



See also


  1. ^ Article 21, Clause 1 of the Election Law
  2. ^ Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Youngmi Kim (2011). The Politics of Coalition in South Korea. Taylor & Francis, p. 65.
  5. ^ Y. Kim, pp. 68–9.
  6. ^ Park 2010, p. 27.
  7. ^ "Standing Committees and Special Committees of the National Assembly". National Assembly (in Korean).
  8. ^ 김광태 (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.
  9. ^ "국가법령정보센터". Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  10. ^ "국가법령정보센터". Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "The World's Most Unruly Parliaments". 16 September 2009.
  13. ^ "South Korean president impeached". 12 March 2004 – via
  14. ^ "In pictures: Impeachment battle". 12 March 2004 – via
  15. ^ Glionna, By John M. (28 January 2009). "South Korea lawmakers: Reaching across the aisle with a sledgehammer". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ "South Korean politicians use fire extinguishers against opposition". 18 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022 – via
  17. ^ "Hall of Violence". 2 March 2009.
  18. ^ Setting the Stage Archived 16 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ ICL – South Korea Index Archived 13 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine