Because of the generational transition of power within the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea some have asked the question “is North Korea a monarchy”? The simple answer to this is no it is not, it is a republic, but it does share some similarities with a monarchy.
What is the government system of North Korea?
North Korea is Democratic Peoples Republic, with democratic being in the context of Marxism-Leninism, rather than say how the United States would see it.
This means a state ruled by a vanguard party, namely the Workers Party of Korea under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat model.
You can read about what the DPRK means here.
Who is the leader of North Korea?
The leader of North Korea is Marshall Kim Jong Un who get his power from not just being the head of the Workers Party of Korea, but also the military.
He is also President of the State Affairs Commission, but not of the country.
You can read about the North Korean President here.
Is North Korea a monarchy? Similarities and differences
People compare North Korea to0 a monarchy because there has been a three generational transfer of power – son to son to son, much like a monarchy.
Why has it done this? Kim Jong Il was initially selected as heir to Kim Il Sung, but at this time it had not been set that the third generational switch would follow the same model. Officially it was stated to some degree that it was done to foster stability.
Qualification for this is done through what has been termed the Paektu Bloodline, which much like a monarchy has some “rules”, although they are not official.
What is different though is that indeed these are rules not set, making North Korea different to a monarchy, which tend to have very set rules on succession. Kim Jong Un for example was not the first born child.
North Korea is also a socialist state in transition to communism where technically any qualified person could become the next leader, even if this is unlikely.
So, while some people claim North Korea a monarchy, in essence it is very different, but with some small similarities.
Want to see the country for yourself? Check out our North Korean Tours.