Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: North Korea

  • Keeping up with the Obiangs: Theft and Hereditary Succession in Dictatorships

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “kleptocracy” was first introduced into the English language in 1819 as a contemporary criticism of the Imperial Spanish Government. Perhaps it is fitting then that the leadership of tiny Equatorial Guinea – one of Spain’s former colonies – is doing so much to keep this particular colonial legacy alive.

  • North Korea lifts ban on women wearing pants

    Various news outlets report that North Korea is lifting its ban on women wearing pants in public, which was reportedly punishable by hard labor or a fine equal to a week’s salary.  The lifting of the ban would certainly seem to be in the spirit of Article 71 of the North Korean constitution, which provides that “women shall be entitled to the same social status and rights as men.”   

  • North Korea’s constitutional innovations

    One doesn’t usually think of totalitarian dictatorships as constitutional innovators. But North Korea has just amended its constitution for the second time in two years, changing the preamble to indicate that Kim Jong Il had “transferred the country into an undefeated country with strong political ideology, a nuclear power state and invincible military power.”

  • North Korea’s Cryptic Reforms

    The South Korean press has just published text from amendments to the North Korean Constitution adopted this April. The Constitution apparently promotes Kim Jong-Il from Dear Leader to Supreme Leader; it also beefs up the role of the National Defence Commission, chaired by Kim.