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definition - National_Assembly_of_South_Korea

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National Assembly of South Korea

National Assembly

19th National Assembly of Korea
Coat of arms or logo
Type Unicameral
Speaker Kang Chang-hee, NFP
since 3 July 2012
Vice Speaker Lee Byung-suk, NFP
since 3 July 2012
Vice Speaker Park Byeong-seug, DUP
since 3 July 2012
Members 300
19th Assembly of the ROK.svg
Political groups      Saenuri (150)
     Democratic United (127)
     Unified Progressive (13)
     Liberty Foward (5)
     Independents (5)
Last election 11 April 2012
Meeting place
National Assembly Building, Seoul (37°31′55.21″N 126°54′50.66″E / 37.5320028°N 126.9140722°E / 37.5320028; 126.9140722)
National Assembly of South Korea
Hangul 국회
Hanja 國會
Revised Romanization Gukhoe
McCune–Reischauer Kukhoe

The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) (Korean: 국회, Gukhoe, hanja: 國會) is a 300-member[1] unicameral legislature. The latest legislative elections were held on 11 April 2012. Single-member constituencies comprise 246 of the National Assembly's seats, while the remaining 54 are allocated by proportional representation.[2] Members serve four-year terms.

The unicameral National Assembly consists of at least 200 members according to the Constitution. In 1990 the National 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 appointed by the political parties in accordance with a proportional formula based on the number of seats won in the election. By law, candidates for election to the National 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 National Assembly cannot be dissolved by the president.


  Current composition

Parties in the 19th Assembly of South Korea
(as of 21 April 2012)
Group Floor leader Seats  %
Saenuri Party Lee Hahn-koo 150 (-2) 50.0
Democratic United Party Park Jie-won 127 (±0) 42.3
Unified Progressive Party Kang Ki-kab 13 (±0) 4.3
Liberty Forward Party Kim Nak-seong 5 (±0) 1.7
Independents 5 (+2) 1.7
Total 300 100.0


  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 Democratic United Party.
  2. Change in seat number since last election noted in brackets.
Parties in the 19th South Korean Assembly.png

  Structure and appointment


The South Korean Constitution stipulates that the National Assembly is presided over by a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers,[3] 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.[4] The Speaker is independent of party affiliation, and the Speaker and Deputy Speakers may not simultaneously be government ministers.[4]

  Negotiation groups

Parties that hold at least 20 seats in the National 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.[5]

  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.[6]


Since the promulgation of the March 1988 electoral law, the National 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.[7] 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.[8]

  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.[9] 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.[10]

  Legislative violence

From 2004 to 2009, South Korea's National Assembly gained notoriety as a frequent site for legislative violence.[11] The Assembly first came to the world's attention during a violent dispute on impeachment proceedings for then President Roh Moo-hyun,[12][13] when open physical combat took place in the Assembly. Since then, the Assembly has been interrupted by periodic conflagrations, piquing the world's curiosity once again in 2009 when Assembly members battled each other with sledgehammers and fire extinguishers.[14][15][16][17] Images of the melee were broadcast around the world.


  Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin is a guest at a sitting of the National Assembly on 28 February 2001.
  South Korean National Assembly in the 1980s
South Korea

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
South Korea

Other countries · Atlas
Politics portal

  First Republic

Elections for the National Assembly were held under UN supervision[18] on 10 May 1948. The First Republic of South Korea was established on 17 July 1948[19] 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.

  Second Republic

  Third Republic

  Fourth Republic

  Fifth Republic

  Sixth Republic

  See also


  1. ^ Article 21, Clause 1 of the Election Law
  2. ^ A Look at Election Through Numbers, Korea Times, 2008-04-09.
  3. ^ Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea.
  4. ^ a b Park, Young-Do (2010). "Kapitel 2: Verfassungsrecht" (in German). Einführung in das koreanische Recht [Introduction to Korean Law]. Springer. p. 25. ISBN 9783642116032. 
  5. ^ Youngmi Kim (2011). The Politics of Coalition in South Korea. Taylor & Francis, p. 65.
  6. ^ Park 2010, p. 27.
  7. ^ Aurel Croissant, "Electoral Politics of South Korea", in Croissant et al. (2002) Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia. Friedrich Ebert Foundation, p. 257.
  8. ^ Croissant, p. 257.
  9. ^ Y. Kim, p. 68.
  10. ^ Y. Kim, pp. 68–9.
  11. ^ World's Most Unruly Parliaments
  12. ^ South Korean President Impeached
  13. ^ Impeachment battle
  14. ^ Democracy, South Korean-style: MPs blasted with fire extinguishers after trying to break into Parliament with hoses and sledgehammers
  15. ^ South Korea lawmakers: Reaching across the aisle with a sledgehammer
  16. ^ South Korean politicians use fire extinguishers against opposition
  17. ^ Hall of Violence
  18. ^ Setting the Stage
  19. ^ ICL – South Korea Index


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