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Constitution of People's Republic of Korea (1972, rev. 1998)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

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3Preamble

4The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a socialist fatherland of Juche which embodies the idea of and guidance by the great leader Comrade Kim II Sung.

5The great leader Comrade Kim II Sung is the founder of the DPRK and the socialist Korea.

6Comrade Kim II Sung founded the immortal Juche idea, organized and guided an anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle under its banner, created revolutionary tradition, attained the historical cause of the national liberation, and founded the DPRK, built up a solid basis of construction of a sovereign and independent state in the fields of politics, economy, culture and military, and founded the DPRK.

7Comrade Kim II Sung put forward an independent revolutionary line, wisely guided the social revolution and construction at various levels, strengthened and developed the Republic into a people-centered socialist country and a socialist state of independence, self-sustenance, and self-defense.

8Comrade Kim II Sung clarified the fundamental principle of State building and activities, established the most superior state social system and political method, and social management system and method, and provided a firm basis for the prosperous and powerful socialist fatherland and the continuation of the task of completing the Juche revolutionary cause.

9Comrade Kim II Sung regarded “believing in the people as in heaven” as his motto, was always with the people, devoted his whole life to them, took care of and guided them with a noble politics of benevolence, and turned the whole society into one big and united family.

10The great leader Comrade Kim II Sung is the sun of the nation and the lodestar of the reunification of the fatherland. Comrade Kim II Sung set the reunification of the country as the nation’s supreme task, and devoted all his work and endeavors entirely to its realization.

11Comrade Kim II Sung, while turning the Republic into a mighty fortress for national reunification, indicated fundamental principles and methods for national reunification, developed the national reunification movement into a pan-national movement, and opened up a way for that cause, to be attained by the united strength of the entire nation.

12The great leader Comrade Kim II Sung made clear the fundamental idea of the Republic’s external policy, expanded and developed diplomatic relations on this basis, and heightened the international prestige of the Republic. Comrade Kim II Sung as a veteran world political leader, hew out a new era of independence, vigorously worked for the reinforcement and development of the socialist movement and the nonaligned movement, and for world peace and friendship between peoples, and made an immortal contribution to the mankind’s independent cause.

13Comrade Kim II Sung was a genius ideological theoretician and a genius art leader, an ever-victorious, iron-willed brilliant commander, a great revolutionary and politician, and a great human being. Comrade Kim II Sung’s great idea and achievements in leadership are the eternal treasures of the nation and a fundamental guarantee for the prosperity and efflorescence of the DPRK.

14The DPRK and the entire Korean people will uphold the great leader Comrade Kim II Sung as the eternal President of the Republic, defend and carry forward his ideas and exploits and complete the Juche revolution under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

15The DPRK Socialist Constitution is a Kim II Sung constitution which legally embodies Comrade Kim II Sung’s Juche state construction ideology and achievements.

16Chapter 1. Politics

17ARTICLE 1

18The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is an independent socialist state representing the interests of all the Korean people.

19ARTICLE 2

20The DPRK is a revolutionary state which has inherited brilliant traditions formed during the glorious revolutionary struggle against the imperialist aggressors, in the struggle to achieve the liberation of the homeland and the freedom and well-being of the people.

21ARTICLE 3

22The DPRK is guided in its activities by the Juche idea, a world outlook centered on people, a revolutionary ideology for achieving the independence of the masses of people.

23ARTICLE 4

24The sovereignty of the DPRK resides in the workers, peasants, working intellectuals and all other working people.

25The working people exercise power through their representative organs—the Supreme People’s Assembly and local people’s assemblies at all levels.

26ARTICLE 5

27All the State organs in the DPRK are formed and function on the principle of democratic centralism.

28ARTICLE 6

29The organs of State power at all levels, from the county People’s Assembly to the SPA, are elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

30ARTICLE 7

31Deputies to the organs of State power at all levels have close ties with their constituents and are accountable to them for their work.

32The electors may recall the deputies they have elected if the latter are not to be trusted.

33ARTICLE 8

34The social system of the DPRK is a people-centered system under which the working people are masters of everything, and everything in society serves the working people.

35The State shall defend and protect the interests of the workers, peasants and working intellectuals who have been freed from exploitation and oppression and become masters of the State and society.

36ARTICLE 9

37The DPRK shall strive to achieve the complete victory of socialism in the northern half of Korea by strengthening the people’s power and vigorously performing the three revolutions—the ideological, cultural and technical—and reunify the country on the principle of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity.

38ARTICLE 10

39The DPRK bases itself on the political and ideological unity of the entire people based on the worker-peasant alliance in which the working class plays a leading role.

40The State strengthens the ideological revolution and revolutionizes and working-classizes all the social members, and binds the whole society in a united group, linked up with comradeship.

41ARTICLE 11

42The DPRK shall conduct all activities under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

43ARTICLE 12

44The State shall adhere to the class line, strengthen the dictatorship of people’s democracy and firmly defend the people’s power and socialist system against all subversive acts of hostile elements at home and abroad.

45ARTICLE 13

46The State shall implement the mass line and apply the Chongsanri spirit and Chongsanri method to all its activities, the spirit and method by which superiors assist their subordinates, mix with the masses to find solutions to problems and rouse them to conscious enthusiasm preferentially through political work, with people.

47ARTICLE 14

48The State shall powerfully conduct the Three-Revolution Red Flag Movement and other mass movements and accelerate the building of socialism to the maximum.

49ARTICLE 15

50The DPRK shall champion the democratic, national rights of Koreans overseas and their rights recognized by the international law.

51ARTICLE 16

52The DPRK shall guarantee the legal rights and interests of foreigners in its region.

53ARTICLE 17

54Independence, peace, and solidarity are the basic ideals of the foreign policy and the principles of external activities of the DPRK.

55The State shall establish diplomatic as well as political, economic and cultural relations with all friendly countries, on principles of complete equality, independence, mutual respect, noninterference in each other’s affairs and mutual benefit.

56The State shall promote unity with the world public defending peoples who oppose all forms of aggression and interference and fight for their countries’ independence and national and class emancipation.

57ARTICLE 18

58The law of the DPRK reflects the wishes and interests of the working people and is a basic instrument for State administration.

59Respect for the law and its strict adherence and execution is the duty of all institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens.

60The State shall perfect the system of socialist law and promote the socialist law-abiding life.

61Chapter 2. Economy

62ARTICLE 19

63The DPRK relies on the socialist production relations and on the foundation of an independent national economy.

64ARTICLE 20

65In the DPRK, the means of production are owned only by the State and social cooperative organizations.

66ARTICLE 21

67The property of the State belongs to the entire people.

68There is no limit to the property which the State can own.

69Only the State possesses all the natural resources, railways, airports, transportation, communication organs and major factories, enterprises, ports and banks.

70The State shall guarantee giving priority to the growth of its property which plays a leading role in the development of the national economy.

71ARTICLE 22

72The property of social cooperative organizations belongs to the collective property of working people within the organizations concerned.

73Social cooperative organizations can possess such property as land, agricultural machinery, ships, medium-small sized factories and enterprises.

74The State shall protect the property of social cooperative organizations.

75ARTICLE 23

76The State shall enhance the ideological consciousness and the technical and cultural level of the peasants, increase the role of the property of the entire people in leading the cooperative property so as to combine the two forms of property systematically, shall consolidate and develop the socialist cooperative economic system by improving the guidance and management of the cooperative economy and gradually transform the property of cooperative organizations into the property of the people as a whole based on the voluntary will of all their members.

77ARTICLE 24

78Private property is confirmed to property meeting the simple and individual aims of the citizen.

79Private property consists of socialist distributions of the result of labor and additional benefits of the State and society.

80The products of individual sideline activities including those from the kitchen gardens of cooperative farmers and income from other legal economic activities shall also belong to private property.

81The State shall protect private property and guarantee its legal inheritance.

82ARTICLE 25

83The DPRK regards the steady improvement of the material and cultural standards of the people as the supreme principle of its activities.

84The constantly-increasing material wealth of society in our country, where taxes have been abolished, is used entirely for promoting the well-being of the working people.

85The State shall provide all working people with every condition for obtaining food, clothing and housing.

86ARTICLE 26

87The independent national economy of the DPRK is a solid foundation for the people’s happy socialist life and for the prosperity of the fatherland.

88The State, holding fast to the line of building an independent national economy, shall accelerate Juche-orientation, modernization and scientific sophistication of the national economy, develop the national economy into a highly developed Juche-oriented one, strive to build a solid material and technical foundation commensurate with a complete socialist society.

89ARTICLE 27

90The technical revolution is vital to the development of the socialist economy.

91The State shall perform all economic activities by giving top priority to solving the problem of technical development, push vigorously ahead with a mass technical revolution movement by accelerating scientific and technical development and the technical innovation of the national economy, free the working masses from backbreaking labor and narrow down the differences between physical and mental labor.

92ARTICLE 28

93The State shall accelerate the technical revolution in the rural areas in order to eliminate differences between urban and rural areas, and class distinctions between the working class and the peasantry, industrialize and modernize agriculture, strengthen the guidance and assistance to rural areas by enhancing the role of the county.

94The State shall undertake, at its own expense, the building of production facilities for the cooperative farms and modern houses in the countryside.

95ARTICLE 29

96Socialism and Communism are built by the creative labor of the working masses.

97In the DPRK, labor is an independent and creative work of the working masses, who have been freed from exploitation and suppression.

98The State renders the labor of our working people, who do not worry about unemployment, more joyful and worthwhile, so that they willingly work with enthusiasm and creativeness for society, organizations and for themselves.

99ARTICLE 30

100The daily working hours of the working masses are eight hours.

101The State will decide to shorten the daily working hours depending on the hardness and special conditions of labor.

102The State shall organize labor effectively, strengthen labor rules and take fully utilize labor’s working hours.

103ARTICLE 31

104In the DPRK, the minimum working age is 16 years old.

105The State shall prohibit child labor under the stipulated working age.

106ARTICLE 32

107The State shall firmly adhere to the principle of properly combining political guidance with economic and technical guidance, the unified guidance of the State with the creativity of each unit, monolithic leadership with democracy, political and moral incentives with material incentives in the guidance and management of the socialist economy.

108ARTICLE 33

109The State shall guide and manage the national economy according to the Taean Work System, which is a socialist economic management form whereby the economy is operated and managed in a scientific and rational way depending on the collective power of the producing masses, and according to the agricultural guidance system whereby agricultural management is conducted by industrial methods.

110The State shall introduce a cost accounting system in the economic management according to the demand of the Taean work system, and utilize such economic levers as prime costs, prices and profits.

111ARTICLE 34

112The national economy of the DPRK is a planned economy.

113The State shall balance a proportion between accumulation and consumption properly, accelerate the economic construction, continue to raise people’s living standard and formulate and implement national economic development plans in order to strengthen the national defense capability.

114The State shall formulate unified and detailed plans and guarantee a high rate production growth and a balanced development of the national economy.

115ARTICLE 35

116The DPRK shall compile and implement the State budget along with the national economic development plan.

117The State will intensify campaigns for increased production and expanded economy, carry out financial regulations strictly, increase the State’s savings, and expand and develop the socialist property.

118ARTICLE 36

119In the DPRK, the State and social cooperative organizations shall conduct foreign trade activities.

120The State shall develop foreign trade on the principles of complete equality and mutual benefit.

121ARTICLE 37

122The State shall encourage institutions, enterprises or associations of the DPRK to establish and operate equity and contractual joint venture enterprises with corporations or individuals of foreign countries within a special economic zone.

123ARTICLE 38

124The State shall pursue a tariff policy with the aim of protecting the independent national economy.

125Chapter 3. Culture

126ARTICLE 39

127Socialist culture, which is flourishing and developing in the DPRK, contributes to the improvement of the creative ability of the working people and to meeting their sound cultural and aesthetic demands.

128ARTICLE 40

129The DPRK shall, by carrying out a thorough cultural revolution, train the working people to be builders of socialism and communism equipped with a profound knowledge of nature and society and a high level of culture and technology, thus making the whole of society intellectual.

130ARTICLE 41

131The DPRK shall develop a truly popular, revolutionary culture which serves the socialist working people.

132In building a socialist national culture, the State shall oppose the cultural infiltration of imperialism and any tendency to return to the past, protect its national cultural heritage, and develop it in keeping with the existing socialist situation.

133ARTICLE 42

134The State shall eliminate the way of life inherited from the outmoded society and establish a new socialist way of life in every sphere.

135ARTICLE 43

136The State shall put the principles of socialist education into practice and raise the new generation to be steadfast revolutionaries who will fight for society and the people, to be people of a new communist type who are knowledgeable, morally sound and physically healthy.

137ARTICLE 44

138The State shall give precedence to public education and the training of cadres for the nation and combine general education with technological education, and education with productive labor.

139ARTICLE 45

140The State shall develop universal compulsory 11-year education which includes a compulsory one-year preschool education at a high level in accordance with the trend of modern science and technology and the practical requirements of socialist construction.

141ARTICLE 46

142The State shall train competent technicians and experts by enhancing the regular educational system as well as different forms of study while working, and by improving the scientific and theoretical levels of technical education and education on social science and basic science.

143ARTICLE 47

144The State shall provide education to all pupils and students free of charge and grant allowances to students of universities and colleges.

145ARTICLE 48

146The State shall strengthen social education and provide the working people with all available conditions for study.

147ARTICLE 49

148The State shall maintain all children of preschool age in creches and kindergartens at State and public expense.

149ARTICLE 50

150The State shall establish Juche in scientific research, introduce advanced science and technology in every possible way, open up new areas of science and technology and raise the country’s science and technology to the world level.

151ARTICLE 51

152The State shall draw up a proper plan for scientific research work, consolidate creative cooperation between scientists, specialists and producer masses.

153ARTICLE 52

154The State shall develop a Juche-oriented, revolutionary literature and art, national in form and socialist in content.

155The State shall develop a Juche-oriented, revolutionary literature and art, national in form and socialist in content.

156The State shall encourage creative workers and artists to produce works of high ideological and artistic value and enlist the working masses widely in literary and artistic activity.

157ARTICLE 53

158The State shall provide sufficient modern cultural facilities to meet the demands of the people who want to continually improve themselves, both mentally and physically, so that the working people may enjoy a socialist cultured, aesthetic life to their hearts’ content.

159ARTICLE 54

160The State shall safeguard our language from all attempts to obliterate it and shall develop it to meet present-day needs.

161ARTICLE 55

162The State shall popularize physical culture and make it in a habit of people’s life to make people fully prepared for labor and national defense; and develop physical technique conforming to the actual situation of our country and trends in the development of modern physical technique.

163ARTICLE 56

164The State shall consolidate and develop the system of universal free medical service, and consolidates the section doctor system and the system of preventive medicine to protect people’s life and improve working people’s health.

165ARTICLE 57

166The State shall adopt measures to protect the environment in preference to production, preserve and promote the natural environment and prevent environmental pollution so as to provide the people with a hygienic environment and working conditions.

167Chapter 4. National Defense

168ARTICLE 58

169The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea rests on the people’s nationwide defense system.

170ARTICLE 59

171The mission of the armed forces of the DPRK is to safeguard the interests of the working people, to defend the socialist system and the gains of the revolution from aggression and to protect the freedom, independence and peace of the country.

172ARTICLE 60

173The State shall implement the line of self-reliant defense, the import of which is to arm the entire people, fortify the country, train the army into a cadre army and modernize the army on the basis of equipping the army and the people politically and ideologically.

174ARTICLE 61

175The State shall strengthen military and mass discipline in the army and promote the display of the noble traditional trait of unity between officers and men and unity between the army and the people.

176Chapter 5. Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

177ARTICLE 62

178The terms for becoming a citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are defined by the Law on Nationality.

179A citizen is under the protection of the DPRK regardless of the domicile.

180ARTICLE 63

181In the DPRK the rights and duties of citizens are based on the collectivist principle, “One for all and all for one.”

182ARTICLE 64

183The State shall effectively guarantee genuine democratic rights and liberties as well as the material and cultural well-being of its citizens.

184In the DPRK the rights and freedom of citizens shall be amplified with the consolidation and development of the social system.

185ARTICLE 65

186Citizens enjoy equal rights in all spheres of State and public activities.

187ARTICLE 66

188All citizens who have reached the age of 17 have the right to elect and to be elected, irrespective of sex, race, occupation, length of residence, property status, education party affiliation, political views or religion.

189Citizens serving in the armed forces also have the right to elect and to be elected. A person who has been disenfranchised by a Court decision and a person legally certified insane do not have the right to elect or to be elected.

190ARTICLE 67

191Citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, demonstration and association.

192The State shall guarantee conditions for the free activity of democratic political parties and social organizations.

193ARTICLE 68

194Citizens have freedom of religious beliefs. This right is granted by approving the construction of religious buildings and the holding of religious ceremonies.

195No one may use religion as a pretext for drawing in foreign forces or for harming the State and social order.

196ARTICLE 69

197Citizens are entitled to submit complaints and petitions.

198Complaints and petitions shall be investigated and dealt with according to procedure and within the period fixed by law.

199ARTICLE 70

200Citizens have the right to work.

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