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Workers' party of korea

The meaning of «workers' party of korea»

The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK)[note 2] is the founding and ruling party of North Korea. It is the largest party represented in the Supreme People's Assembly and coexists de jure with two other legal parties making up the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland. However, these minor parties are completely subservient to the WPK,[8] and must accept the WPK's "leading role" as a condition of their existence.

The WPK was founded in 1949 with the merger of the Workers' Party of North Korea and the Workers' Party of South Korea. The WPK also controls the Korean People's Army. The WPK is outlawed in South Korea under South Korea's National Security Act and is sanctioned by Australia, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States.[9]

The WPK is organized according to the Monolithic Ideological System and the Great Leader, a system and theory conceived by Kim Yong-ju and Kim Jong-il. The highest body of the WPK is formally the Congress, but in practice a Congress occurs infrequently. Between 1980 and 2016, there were no congresses held. Although the WPK is organizationally similar to communist parties, in practice it is far less institutionalized and informal politics plays a larger role than usual. Institutions such as the Central Committee, the Secretariat, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Politburo and the Politburo's Presidium have much less power than that formally bestowed on them by the party rules, which is little more than a nominal document. Kim Jong-un is the current WPK leader, serving as General Secretary of the WPK and Chairman of the CMC.

The WPK is committed to Juche, an ideology that promotes Korean national independence and development through the efforts of the popular masses. Although Juche was originally presented as local interpretation of Marxism–Leninism, the party now presents it as a freestanding philosophy. It recognizes the ruling Kim family as the ultimate source of its political thought. The 4th Conference (held in 2012) amended the party rules to state that Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism was "the only guiding idea of the party." Under Kim Jong-il, who governed as chairman of the National Defence Commission, communism was steadily removed from party and state documents in favor of Songun, or military-first politics. The military, rather than the working class, was established as the base of political power. His successor Kim Jong-un has modified this position. Although the party remains committed to national defense, it has replaced Songun with "people-first politics" as its political method[10] and reasserted its commitment to communism.[11]

The party's emblem is an adaptation of the communist hammer and sickle, with a traditional Korean calligraphy brush. The symbols represent the industrial workers (hammer), peasants (sickle) and intelligentsia (ink brush).

On 13 October 1945, the North Korean Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea (NKB–CPK) was established,[12] with Kim Yong-bom its first chairman.[13] However, the NKB–CPK remained subordinate to the CPK Central Committee (headquartered in Seoul and headed by Pak Hon-yong).[14] Two months later, at the 3rd Plenum of the NKB, Kim Yong-bom was replaced by Kim Il-sung (an event probably orchestrated by the Soviet Union).[15] In spring 1946 the North Korean Bureau became the Communist Party of North Korea, with Kim Il-sung its elected chairman.[16] On 22 July 1946 Soviet authorities in North Korea established the United Democratic National Front, a popular front led by the Communist Party of North Korea.[17] The Communist Party of North Korea soon merged with the New People's Party of Korea, a party primarily composed of communists from China.[17] On 28 July 1946 a special commission of the two parties ratified the merger, and it became official the following day.[18] One month later (28–30 August 1946) the party held its founding congress, establishing the Workers' Party of North Korea (WPNK).[18] The congress elected former leader of the New People's Party of Korea Kim Tu-bong as the first WPNK chairman, with Kim Il-sung its appointed deputy chairman.[18] However, despite his formal downgrade in the party's hierarchy, Kim Il-sung remained its leader.[19]

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