Government Type: Highly centralized communist state.
Independence: August 15, 1945--Korean liberation from Japan; September 9, 1948--establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K., or North Korea), marking its separation from the Republic of Korea (R.O.K., or South Korea).
Constitution: 1948; revised in 1972, 1992, 1998, and 2009.
Branches: Executive--President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (chief of state); Chairman of the National Defense Commission (head of government). Legislative--Supreme People's Assembly. Judicial--Central Court; provincial, city, county, and military courts.
Subdivisions: Nine provinces; two province-level municipalities (Pyongyang, Nasun, also known as Najin-Sonbong free trade zone); one special city (Nampo), 24 cities.
Political party: Korean Workers' Party (Communist).
Suffrage: Universal at 17.