Monday, November 2, 2009

[DeCal] (UPDATED) Translation of North Korea's Constitution

Today we will have a presentation on how North Korean institutions have changed since the death of Kim Il Sung. One particular item, the presenting group this week has looked at is the new North Korean constitution, adopted in late September of this year stands out to highlight how much North Korea has fallen. Below is a rough draft of a translation of the North Korean constitution. There is a section missing on the draft copy of the translation, but I hope to have that updated shortly. But, what is fascinating about looking at the constitution is how far North Korea has come.

When North Korea was first formed, it could be argued that the founders of North Korea were Korean patriots in that they were not like the cronies brought in to head a government as in the South. There is a lot of material available on how hard it was for the United States to bring in a legitmate leader to South Korea that was not tainted by either Communism and/or Japanese Collaboration. For example, I would look at how General John R. Hodge, the military governor of South Korea from 1945-1948, felt about South Korea's first leader, Rhee Syng Man - he despised Rhee Syng Man. But, now, a quick reading of the North Korean constitution invites ridicule, note that the Constitution of the DPRK states that North Korean laborers have the right "to work for 8 hours a day." More commentary on this later.

Thank you Sun Min Woo, Soo Yeon Jun, Jungmin Yun and Hyun-Bin Shin for the tranlsation.

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