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Politics of South Korea

Table of contents
1 Government
2 Country name
3 Data code
4 Government type
5 Capital
6 Administrative divisions
7 Independence
8 National holiday
9 Constitution
10 Legal system
11 Suffrage
12 Executive branch
13 Judicial branch
14 Political parties and leaders
15 Political pressure groups and leaders
16 International organization participation
17 Flag description


South Korea is a republic with powers shared between the president and the legislature. The president is chief of state and is elected for a term of 5 years. The 273 members of the unicameral National Assembly are elected to 4-year terms. South Korea's judicial system comprises a Supreme Court, appellate courts, and a Constitutional Court. The country has nine provinces and six administratively separate cities--Seoul, Pusan, Inchon, Taegu, Kwangju, and Taejon. Political parties include the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP); Grand National Party (GNP); United Liberal Democrats (ULD); and Democratic People's Party. Suffrage is universal at age 20.

Country name

note: the South Koreans generally use the term "Han-guk" to refer to their country

Data code


Government type




Administrative divisions

(Main article:
Administrative divisions of Korea. For historical information, see Provinces of Korea and Special cities of Korea)

1 Special City (Teukbyeolsi), 6 Metropolitan Cities (Gwangyeoksi, singular and plural), and 9 Provinces (Do, singular and plural).


August 15, 1945, date of liberation from Japanese colonial rule

National holiday

Liberation Day, August 15 (1945)


February 25, 1988

Legal system

combines elements of continental European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and Chinese classical thought


20 years of age; universal

Executive branch

Judicial branch

Supreme Court, justices are appointed by the president subject to the consent of the National Assembly

Political parties and leaders

note: subsequent to the legislative election of April 1996 the following parties disbanded - New Korea Party or NKP and Democratic Party or DP; on 20 January 2000, the National Congress for New Politics or NCNP was renamed the Millennium Democratic Party or MDP

Political pressure groups and leaders

Federation of Korean Industries; Federation of Korean Trade Unions; Korean Confederation of Trade Unions; Korean National Council of Churches; Korean Traders Association; Korean Veterans' Association; National Council of Labor Unions; National Democratic Alliance of Korea; National Federation of Farmers' Associations; National Federation of Student Associations

International organization participation

AfDB, APEC, AsDB, BIS, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, Zangger Committee

Flag description

The flag of South Korea is white with a red (top) and blue yin-yang symbol in the center; there is a different black trigram from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes) in each corner of the white field.