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National Assembly (South Korea)

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Title: National Assembly (South Korea)  
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National Assembly (South Korea)

National Assembly
of the Republic of Korea

대한민국 국회

Daehan-min-guk Gukhoe
19th National Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Chung Ui-hwa, Independent [1]
Since 30 May 2014
Vice Speaker
Jung Gab-yunSaenuri
Since 30 May 2014
Vice Speaker
Lee Seok-hyeonNPAD
Since 30 May 2014
Seats 300
Political groups



Length of term
4 years
Parallel voting:
First-past-the-post (single member constituencies)
Party-list proportional representation (national lists)
Last election
11 April 2012
Meeting place
The National Assembly Building at Seoul, in September 2014.
National Assembly
Hangul 대한민국국회
Hanja 大韓民國國會
Revised Romanization Daehanminguk Gukhoe
McCune–Reischauer Taehanminguk Kukhoe
National Assembly
Hangul 국회
Hanja 國會
Revised Romanization Gukhoe
McCune–Reischauer Kukhoe

The National Assembly, officially the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, is the 300-member[2] unicameral national legislature of South Korea. The latest legislative elections were held on 11 April 2012. Single-member constituencies comprise 246 of the assembly's seats, while the remaining 54 are allocated by proportional representation.[3] Members serve four-year terms.

The unicameral assembly consists of at least 200 members according to the South Korean constitution. In 1990 the assembly had 299 seats, 224 of which were directly elected from single-member districts in the general elections of April 1988. Under applicable laws, the remaining seventy-five representatives were elected from party lists. By law, candidates for election to the assembly must be at least thirty years of age. As part of a political compromise in 1987, an earlier requirement that candidates have at least five years' continuous residency in the country was dropped to allow Kim Dae-Jung, who had spent several years in exile in Japan and the United States during the 1980s, to return to political life. The National Assembly's term is four years. In a change from the more authoritarian Fourth Republic and Fifth Republic (1972–80 and 1980–87, respectively), under the Sixth Republic, the assembly cannot be dissolved by the president.


  • Current composition 1
  • Structure and appointment 2
    • Speaker 2.1
    • Negotiation groups 2.2
    • Legislative process 2.3
    • Election 2.4
  • Reform proposals 3
  • Legislative violence 4
  • History 5
    • First Republic 5.1
    • Third Republic 5.2
    • Fourth Republic 5.3
    • Fifth Republic 5.4
    • Sixth Republic 5.5
  • Members 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8

Current composition

Parties in the 19th National Assembly of South Korea
(as of 19 Dec 2014)
Group Floor leader Seats % of seats
Saenuri Party Won Yoo-chul 159 53.54
NPAD Lee Jong-kul 128 43.1
Justice Party Jeong Jin-hoo 5 1.68
Independents 5 1.68
Total 297 100.0


  1. Negotiation groups can be formed by 20 or more members. There are currently 2 negotiation groups in the Assembly, formed by Saenuri Party and New Politics Alliance for Democracy.
  2. On 19 Dec 2014, The Unified Progressive Party has been banned. And the 5 lawmakers were also deprived of their seats.
  3. Change in seat number since last election noted in brackets.

Structure and appointment


The constitution stipulates that the assembly is presided over by a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers,[4] who are responsible for expediting the legislative process. The Speaker and Deputy Speakers are elected in a secret ballot by the members of the Assembly, and their term in office is restricted to two years.[5] The Speaker is independent of party affiliation, and the Speaker and Deputy Speakers may not simultaneously be government ministers.[5]

Negotiation groups

Parties that hold at least 20 seats in the assembly form floor negotiation groups (Korean: 교섭단체, RR: gyoseop danche), which are entitled to a variety of rights that are denied to smaller parties. These include a greater amount of state funding and participation in the leaders' summits that determine the assembly's legislative agenda.[6]

Legislative process

To introduce a bill, a legislator must present the initiative to the Speaker with the signatures of at least ten other members of the assembly. The bill must then be edited by a committee to ensure that the bill contains correct and systematic language. It can then be approved or rejected by the Assembly.[7]


Since the promulgation of the March 1988 electoral law, the assembly has been elected every four years through a Supplementary Member system, meaning that some of the members are elected from constituencies according to the system of first past the post, while others are elected at a national level through proportional representation.[8] As of 2012, 246 members represent constituencies, while 54 were elected from PR lists. In contrast to elections to the Assembly, presidential elections occur once every five years, and this has led to frequent situations of minority government and legislative deadlock.[9]

Reform proposals

A proposal to lower the number of seats required to form a negotiation group to 15 was passed on 24 July 2000, but was overturned by the Constitutional Court later that month.[10] In order to meet the quorum, the United Liberal Democrats, who then held 17 seats, arranged to "rent" three legislators from the Millennium Democratic Party. The legislators returned to the MDP after the collapse of the ULD–MDP coalition in September 2001.[11]

Legislative violence

From 2004 to 2009, the assembly gained notoriety as a frequent site for legislative violence.[12] The Assembly first came to the world's attention during a violent dispute on impeachment proceedings for then President Roh Moo-hyun,[13][14] when open physical combat took place in the assembly. Since then, it has been interrupted by periodic conflagrations, piquing the world's curiosity once again in 2009 when members battled each other with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers.[15][16][17][18] Images of the melee were broadcast around the world.


South Korean National Assembly in the 1980s
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
South Korea

First Republic

Elections for the assembly were held under UN supervision[19] on 10 May 1948. The First Republic of South Korea was established on 17 July 1948[20] when the constitution of the First Republic was established by the Assembly. The Assembly also had the job of electing the President, and elected anti-communist Syngman Rhee as President on 10 May 1948.

Under the first constitution, the National Assembly was unicameral. Under the second and third constitutions, the National Assembly became bicameral and consisted of the House of Commons and the Senate, but actually unicameral with the House of Commons because the House of Commons could not pass a bill to establish the Senate.


Third Republic

Since the reopen of the National Assembly in 1963 until today, it has been unicameral.

Fourth Republic

Fifth Republic

Sixth Republic

      Conservative       Liberal       Progressive

      majority       lack majority

      largest minority
Seats Speaker Seats Minority

1988-1990 Kim Jae-sun (supported by DJP→DLP)
1990-1992 Park Jyun-kyu (supported by DLP)
70   PPDDP (91)
merge with DJP 1990
merge with DJP 1990

1992-1993 Park Jyun-kyu (supported by DLP)
1993-1993 Hwang Nak-joo (supported by DP)
1993-1994 Lee Man-sup (supported by DLP)
1994-1996 Park Jyun-kyu (supported by DLP→NKP)
97 DP (91)NCNP
merge with ULD in 1995
split from DLP in 1995

1999-2000 Lee Bu-young 139 1996-1998 Kim Soo-han (supported by NKP→GNP)
1998-2000 Park Jyun-kyu (supported by GNP)
50 ULD
15 UDP (95)→DP (95)
GNP 2000-2000 Lee Bu-young
2000-2001 Jeon Chang-hwa
2001-2002 Lee Jae-oh
2002-2003 Lee Kyu-taek
2003-2004 Hong Sa-duk
2000-2002 Lee Man-sup (supported by GNP)
2002-2004 Park Kwan-jong (supported by GNP)
2003-2004 Kim Geun-tae UP
split from MDP in 2003
merge with GNP in 2006

2004-2004 Kim Geun-tae (UP)
2004-2005 Cheon Jeong-bae (UP)
2005-2006 Chung Sye-kyun (UP)
2006-2007 Kim Han-gil (UP)
2007-2008 Chang Yong-dal (UP)
2007-2008 Kim Hyo-seok (UDP)
152 2004-2006 Kim Won-ki (supported by UP)
2006-2008 Lim Chae-jung (supported by UP→UDP)
121 2004-2004 Hong Sa-duk
2004-2005 Kim Deok-ryong
2005-2006 Kang Jae-sup
2006-2006 Lee Jae-oh
2006-2007 Kim Hyong-o
2007-2008 Ahn Sang-soo
10 DLP

2008-2008 Ahn Sang-soo
2008-2009 Hong Jun-pyo
2009-2010 Ahn Sang-soo
2010-2011 Kim Moo-sung
2011-2012 Hwang Woo-yea
153 2008-2010 Kim Hyong-o (supported by GNP)
2010-2012 Park Hee-tae (supported by GNP)
2012-2012 Chung Eui-hwa (supported by GNP→SP)
81 2008-2008 Kim Hyo-seok (UDP)
2008-2009 Won Hye-young (UDP→DP)
2009-2010 Lee Kang-lae (DP)
2010-2011 Park Jie-won (DP)
2011-2012 Kim Jin-pyo (DP→DUP)
18 2008-2010 Kwon Sun-taik
2010-2010 Ryu Keun-chan
2010-2011 Kwon Sun-taik
2011-2012 Kim Nack-sung
5 2008-2008 Kwon Young-ghil (DLP)
2008-2012 Kang Gi-gap (DLP→UPP)
2008-2012 Roh Cheol-Lae PPC→FHA
merge with SP in 2012
SP 2012-2012 Hwang Woo-yea
2012-2013 Lee Hahn-koo
2013-2014 Choi Kyoung-hwan
2014-2015 Lee Wan-koo
2015- Ryu Seung-min
2012-2014 Kang Chang-hee (supported by SP)
2014- Chung Ui-hwa (supported by SP)
2012-2012 Kim Jin-pyo (DUP)
2012-2012 Park Jie-won (DUP)
2012-2013 Park Ki-choon (DUP→DP)
2013-2014 Jeon Byeong-hun (DP→NPAD)
2014-2014 Park Young-sun (NPAD)
2014-2014 Kim Young-rok (NPAD)
2014-2015 Woo Yoon-keun (NPAD)
2015- Lee Jong-kul (NPAD)
5 2012-2013 Kang Dong-won
2013-2015 Sim Sang-jeong
2015- Jeong Jin-hoo
split from UPP in 2012
2012-2012 Kang Gi-gap
2012-2014 Kim Seon-dong
2014 Oh Byeong-yun
banned in 2014
2011-2012 Kim Nack-sung
2012-2012 Seong Wan-Jong
merge with SP in 2012


See also


  • U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies
  1. ^ Speaker of Assembly can't join in party
  2. ^ Article 21, Clause 1 of the Election Law
  3. ^ Kim, Tae-jong. "A Look at Election Through Numbers," Korea Times, 9 April 2008; retrieved 2013-4-2.
  4. ^ Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
  5. ^ a b Park, Young-Do (2010). "Kapitel 2: Verfassungsrecht". Einführung in das koreanische Recht [Introduction to Korean Law] (in German). Springer. p. 25.  
  6. ^ Youngmi Kim (2011). The Politics of Coalition in South Korea. Taylor & Francis, p. 65.
  7. ^ Park 2010, p. 27.
  8. ^ Aurel S. Croissant, "Electoral Politics of South Korea", in Croissant et al. (2002) Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia. Friedrich Ebert Foundation, p. 257.
  9. ^ Croissant, p. 257.
  10. ^ Y. Kim, p. 68.
  11. ^ Y. Kim, pp. 68–9.
  12. ^ World's Most Unruly Parliaments
  13. ^ South Korean President Impeached
  14. ^ Impeachment battle
  15. ^ Democracy, South Korean-style: MPs blasted with fire extinguishers after trying to break into Parliament with hoses and sledgehammers
  16. ^ South Korea lawmakers: Reaching across the aisle with a sledgehammer
  17. ^ South Korean politicians use fire extinguishers against opposition
  18. ^ Hall of Violence
  19. ^ Setting the Stage
  20. ^ ICL – South Korea Index
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