Political System

    Korea is a democratic republic with power centralized in a strong executive president. Regional autonomy has been established since 1995.


    Promulgated on July 17, 1948, the Korean constitution guarantees individual rights and calls for three independent branches of government: legislative, judicial, administrative.


    On August 15, 1948, the government of the First Republic was born. Kim Dae-jung was elected president in December 1997 and inaugurated as the 15th-term President of the Republic of Korea in February 25, 1998. He calls his Administration "the Government of the People." It was created through the first ever peaceful transfer of power between the ruling and an opposition party in the 50 years of modern Korean political history since August 15, 1945, when the country was liberated from Japan.
    Administrative districts : 1 capital city, 6 metropolitan cities, and 9 provinces with 72 cities (si) and 91 counties (gun).

 National Assembly

    The unicameral system is composed of three major parties : the ruling parties, the National Congress for New Politics and the United Liberal Democrats has 104 and 52 Assembly seats respectively, while the major opposition party, the Grand National Party has 137 seats. (As of Oct. 1998)

 Judicial System

    Three courts make up the judiciary:   the Supreme Court, the High Court, and the District Court.
    Up to three appeals may be made. There is also a Constitutional Court.

 South and North Korea

    The recent changes to the power structure in North Korea and the lessening of nuclear tension on the peninsula have resulted in an increased interest in investment opportunities and trade, and an accelerated effort to resume South-North dialogue with the eventual goal of reunification.