South Korea: Government

Republic of Korea Flag
Coat of Arms of Republic of Korea

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Park Geun-hye

Head of Government: Prime Minister Jung Hong-Won (resigned)


Government Name: Republic of Korea

Constitution: Adopted: 1987; Protects individual rights in additional to economic provisions, such as stable and balanced growth rates, proper distribution of income, and preventing abuse of economic power.

Government Type: Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide,

Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, appoints prime minister and supreme court judges, and is in charge of executory tasks of the government.

Plurality vote.

5 years


The supreme court is independent of the government and is highest court in the land. The constitutional court interprets the constitution.

Supreme court chief justice appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; other justices appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the chief justice and consent of the National Assembly. Constitutional court justices appointed - 3 by the president, 3 by the National Assembly, and 3 by the supreme court chief justice.

6 years


Approves nominations by the president, can impeach the president, in charge of creating legislature.

246 seats elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies and 54 seats through closed-list proportional representation.

4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Economic considerations have a high priority in Korean foreign policy. The R.O.K. seeks to build on its economic accomplishments to increase its regional and global role. It is a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and chaired the organization in 2005. The Republic of Korea maintains diplomatic relations with more than 170 countries and a broad network of trading relationships. The United States and Korea are allied by the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty. Korea and Japan coordinate closely on numerous issues. This includes consultations with the United States on North Korea policy.

Regional Trade Blocs: APEC

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties

Tax Authority: National Tax Service

Tax Name: VAT


CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.