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South Korea Table of Contents

South Korea


System of Government: Constitution of Sixth Republic approved October 1987; effective February 1988. Strong presidency; president elected for one five-year-term by direct popular vote. 224 members of 299-member National Assembly elected by popular vote for four-year-term in April 1988; rest appointed by political parties according to proportional formula.

Justice: Administration of justice as function of courts established under Constitution and amended Court Organization Law of 1949. Supreme Court highest organ of court system; appellate courts and district courts. Constitution Court decides constitutionality of a law, dissolution of a political party, impeachment, petitions relating to Constitution, disputes between state agencies, or between state agencies and local governments. Family Court adjudicates domestic affairs and juvenile delinquency. Courts-martial have jurisdiction over offenses committed by armed forces personnel and civilian military employees.

Administrative Divisions: Nine provinces and six provincial-level cities. Provinces divided into counties and ordinary cities; counties into townships and towns; townships into villages. Mostly part of central government; increasing self-government.

Politics: Multiparty system, but political parties with contrary aims or activities may be dissolved by Constitution Court.

Foreign Affairs: Member of most international organizations but no formal membership in United Nations in mid1990 . Mutual defense treaty with United States, which along with Japan, one of two most important foreign policy partners. Relations with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) treated as "internal" rather than "foreign"; public and private contacts increasing.

Data as of June 1990