Dae-Kyu Yoon


Though a departure from mainstream socialist States, a glimpse of North Korea's Constitution can still provide observers with an understanding of how North Korea has undergone and responded to social changes and vicissitudes. Hence, this Essay sets out to do a number of things. First, this study succinctly examines the nature and status of law in North Korea. Second, it reviews the country's constitutional history in sequence, and then, provides a more in depth look into the characteristics of the current Constitution. Conclusions are then drawn from this examination. The goal of this Essay is not to describe the principles or contents of North Korean Constitutions per se, but rather to look at how North Korea has responded to change from a constitutional perspective. However, our discussion will be mostly limited to the texts of the constitutions since there is no case known to outsiders that would afford us an understanding of its real operation in daily life. At the same time, constitutional processes including the North Korean amendment process does not deserve our attention either, as all constitutional processes in North Korea are, by design, endorsed without opposition and manipulated by the country's top leadership --an undisputable reality of the totalitarianism housed within the country's borders.