7:32:PM  |  23 February 2018



Political system

Presidential-style democracy with President elected for a single five-year term.


National government


Saenuri Party. State Council (cabinet) ministers appointed by President are not normally members of the National Assembly.


National legislature


National Assembly, unicameral, four-year term, 246 seats filled by direct election; 54 distributed among parties in proportion to their share of the vote (list MPs). Saenuri Party currently holds 147 seats while the Democratic Party holds 126 seats. The Speaker is Chung Ui-hwa.


Last election


Presidential – 19 December 2012.

National Assembly – 11 April 2012.


Next election due


Presidential – December 2017. 

National Assembly – April 2016.


Head of State


President – Park Geun-hye


Head of Government


President – Park Geun-hye


Key Ministers


Prime Minister – Chung Hong-won

Foreign Affairs – Yun Byung-se

Trade, Industry and Energy – Yoon Sang-jick

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – Lee Dong-phil

National Defence –Han Min-gu

Strategy and Finance (also deputy PM) – Choi Kyung-hwan

Education – Hwang Woo-yea

Science, ICT & Future Planning – Choi Yang-hee

Environment – Yoon Seong-kyu

Unification – Ryoo Kihl-jae

Justice – Hwang Kyo-an

Health and Welfare – Chin Young

Employment and Labour – Lee Ki-kweon

Gender Equality and Family – Kim Hee-jung

Oceans and Fisheries – Lee Ju-young


Main political parties


Saenuri Party (previously known as Grand National Party)

Democratic United Party (DUP)

Unified Progressive Party (UPP)

Political Situation

The institutions of liberal democracy have been consolidated in the ROK since it held its first democratic elections in 1987, with the degree of pluralism in politics, civil society and the media placing the ROK among the most democratic countries in Asia.

Current President Park Geun-hye took office on 25 February 2013 with 51.6% support. She is the ROK’s first woman President, and will serve a single five year term. The daughter of military President Park Chung-hee, she ran as the Saenuri Party candidate, which she had previously represented in the National Assembly. Her Presidential election campaign emphasised the development of Korea’s social structure to a level commensurate with its economic success, by widening welfare support, fostering small and medium enterprises, and leading a new era of economic growth based on a “creative economy” where ideas, technological innovations and scientific prowess support economic growth. Park also pledged to be open to engagement with North Korea, while maintaining a firm stance against its provocations.