Politics of the Republic of Korea
대한민국의 정치 (Korean)
|Polity type||Unitary presidential|
|Constitution||Constitution of the Republic of Korea|
|Meeting place||National Assembly Building|
|Presiding officer||Park Byeong-seug, Speaker of the National Assembly|
|Head of State and Government|
|Appointer||Direct popular vote|
|Deputy leader||Prime Minister|
|Name||Judiciary of South Korea|
|Chief judge||Kim Myeong-soo|
|Chief judge||Yoo Nam-Seok|
|South Korea portal|
The politics of South Korea take place in the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the president is the head of state, and of a multi-party system. To ensure a separation of powers, the Republic of Korea Government is made up of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The government exercises executive power and legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature and comprises a Supreme Court, appellate courts, and a Constitutional Court.
Since 1948, the constitution has undergone five major revisions, each signifying a new republic. The current Sixth Republic began with the last major constitutional revision that took effect in 1988. From its founding until the June Democratic Struggle, the South Korean political system operated under a military authoritarian regime, with the freedom of assembly, association, expression, press and religion as well as civil society activism being tightly restricted. During that period, there were no freely elected national leaders, political opposition is suppressed, dissent was not permitted and civil rights were curtailed.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated South Korea a "full democracy" in 2022.
Main article: Government of South Korea
|President||Yoon Suk-yeol||People Power Party||10 May 2022|
|Prime Minister||Han Duck-soo||Independent||22 May 2022|
The head of state is the president, who is elected by direct popular vote for a single five-year term. The president is Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and enjoys considerable executive powers.
The president appoints the prime minister with approval of the National Assembly, as well as appointing and presiding over the State Council of chief ministers as the head of government. On 12 March 2004, the executive power of then President Roh Moo-hyun was suspended when the Assembly voted to impeach him and Prime Minister Goh Kun became an Acting President. On 14 May 2004, the Constitutional Court overturned the impeachment decision made by the Assembly and Roh was reinstated.
On 10 May 2022, Yoon Suk-yeol succeeded Moon Jae-in as president of South Korea.
The National Assembly (국회, 國會, gukhoe) has 300 members, elected for a four-year term, 253 members in single-seat constituencies and 47 members by proportional representation. The ruling Democratic Party of Korea is the largest party in the Assembly.
Main article: Judiciary of South Korea
The South Korean judiciary is independent of the other two branches of government, and is composed of two different highest courts. Inferior ordinary courts are under the Supreme Court, whose justices are appointed by the president of South Korea with the consent of the National Assembly. In addition, the Constitutional Court oversees questions of constitutionality, as single and the only court whose justices are appointed by the president of South Korea by equal portion of nomination from the president, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court Chief justice. South Korea has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
South Korea elects on national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people. The National Assembly (Gukhoe) has 300 members, elected for a four-year term, 253 members in single-seat constituencies and 47 members by proportional representation.
The main two political parties in South Korea are the liberal Democratic Party of Korea (lit. "Together Democratic Party", DPK) and the conservative People Power Party (PPP), formerly the United Future Party (UFP). The liberal camp and the conservative camp are the dominant forces of South Korean politics at present.
|Group||Floor leader||Seats||% of seats|
|▌People Power||Kweon Seong-dong||112||38.5%|
|▌Hope of Korea[a]||1||0.3%|
South Korea's political history has always been prone to splits from and merges with other parties. One reason is that there is a greater emphasis around the 'politics of the individual' rather than the party; therefore, party loyalty is not strong when disagreements occur. The graph below illustrates the extent of the political volatility within the last 10 years alone. These splits were intensified after the 2016 South Korean political scandal.
Main article: 2022 South Korean presidential election
|Yoon Suk-yeol||People Power Party||16,394,815||48.56|
|Lee Jae-myung||Democratic Party of Korea||16,147,738||47.83|
|Sim Sang-jung||Justice Party||803,358||2.38|
|Huh Kyung-young||National Revolutionary Party||281,481||0.83|
|Kim Jae-yeon||Progressive Party||37,366||0.11|
|Cho Won-jin||Our Republican Party||25,972||0.08|
|Oh Jun-ho||Basic Income Party||18,105||0.05|
|Kim Min-chan||Korean Wave Alliance||17,305||0.05|
|Lee Gyeong-hee||Korean Unification||11,708||0.03|
|Lee Baek-yun||Labor Party||9,176||0.03|
|Kim Gyeong-jae||New Liberal Democratic Union||8,317||0.02|
|Ok Un-ho||Saenuri Party||4,970||0.01|
|Source: Election results|
Breakdown of votes by region for candidates with at least 1% of the total votes.
|Region||Yoon Suk-yeol||Lee Jae-myung||Sim Sang-jung|
|Source: National Election Commission|
Breakdown of votes by region for candidates with less than 1% of the total votes.
|Source: National Election Commission|
In March 2022, Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the conservative opposition People Power Party, won a close election over Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung by the narrowest margin ever. On 10 May 2022, Yoon was sworn in as South Korea's new president.
Main article: 2020 South Korean legislative election
Main article: Administrative divisions of South Korea
One Special City (Teukbyeolsi, Capital City), six Metropolitan Cities (Gwangyeoksi, singular and plural), nine Provinces (Do, singular and plural) and one Special Autonomous City (Sejong City).
Further information: Foreign relations of South Korea
South Korea is a member of the