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National Assembly
국회 (Gukhoe)
18th National Assembly of Korea
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Unicameral
Speaker Kim Hyong-O, GNP
since July 10, 2008
Vice Speaker Lee Yoon-Sung, GNP
since July 16, 2008
Vice Speaker Moon Hee-Sang, DEP
since July 16, 2008
Members 296
The 18th National Assembly of Korea parties seating.png
Political groups      Grand National Party (170)
     Democratic Party (84)
     Liberty Forward Party (18)
     Pro-Park Alliance (5)
     Democratic Labor Party (5)
     Creative Korea Party (3)
     New Progressive Party (1)
     Independents (10)
     Vacant (3)
Last election April 9, 2008
Meeting place
National Assembly Building, Seoul
* Total seats of the National Assembly is regulated as 299. In 14 May, 2009, 3 members of Pro-Park Alliance lost their seats in non-successive way, reducing total members of 18th National Assembly to 296. Total seats are to be restored to 299 in 19th National Assembly election.
National Assembly of South Korea
Hangul 국회
Hanja 國會
Revised Romanization Gukhoe
McCune–Reischauer Kukhoe

The National Assembly of South Korea is a 299-member[1] unicameral legislature. The latest general elections were held on April 9, 2008. Single-member constituencies comprise 245 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.

Legislators are immune from arrest or detention (except when caught in flagrante delicto when the National Assembly is in session). If an arrest occurs before the National Assembly session begins, the legislator concerned must be released for the duration of the session. National Assembly members also enjoy legal immunity for statements made in that forum. Greater freedom of the media and independence of the courts, combined with the power of the opposition parties in the legislature, gave greater substance to this immunity during the first two years of the Sixth Republic than under the preceding government, when prosecutors and the courts did not honor such immunity.

The position of the National Assembly in the Constitution is much stronger than it had been under the Fifth Republic. The annual session of the National Assembly was extended to 100 days. Extraordinary sessions of thirty days each might be called by as little as one-quarter of the membership (versus one-third in the 1980 constitution); and there was no limit on the number of such sessions that could be called each year. The power to investigate state affairs also was strengthened. The National Assembly now held the power to remove the prime minister or a cabinet minister at any time, rather than having to wait a year following appointment, as had been the case before. The consent of the National Assembly was required for the appointment of all Supreme Court justices, not just the chief justice. The National Assembly performed a tie-breaking function in presidential elections and was required to approve or to disapprove presidential emergency measures before they took effect, time permitting. Failure to obtain National Assembly approval would void the emergency measures.


Current composition

Parties in the 18th Assembly of South Korea
Group Seats  %
Grand National Party 170 57.4
Democratic Party 84 28.4
Forward and Renewal Alliance*
Liberty Forward Party
Creative Korea Party**
Pro-Park Coalition 5 1.7
Democratic Labor Party 5 1.7
New Progressive Party 1 0.3
Creative Korea Party** 1 0.3
Independents 10 3.4
Total*** 296 100.0


  1. * Negotiation groups can be formed by 20 or more members. There are currently 3 negotiation groups in the Assembly, two are party groups formed by Grand National Party and Democratic Party, and the other one is a solidarity group, jointly formed by Liberty Forward Party and Creative Korea Party.
  2. ** One member of Creative Korea Party refused to join Forward and Renewal Alliance group
  3. *** 3 Members of the Assembly of Pro-Park Alliance lost their seats due to violation of election law. Seats of proportional representatives lost by violation of election law cannot be succeeded in South Korea, thus total seats of 18th National Assembly also reduced to 296.
  4. Source: official website of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Distribution chart of seats in the 18th Assembly of South Korea.png

Legislative violence

From 2004 up to the present day, South Korea's National Assembly has gained fame[3] as one of the world's premier sites for legislative violence. The Assembly first came to the world's attention during a violent dispute on impeachment proceedings for then President Roh Moo-hyun,[4][5], 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.[6][7][8][9] Vivid 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 Korea

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



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Korean reunification
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First Republic

Elections for the National Assembly were held under UN supervision [10] on 10 May 1948. The First Republic of South Korea was established on 17 July 1948 [11] 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. ^ World's Most Unruly Parliaments
  4. ^ South Korean President Impeached
  5. ^ Impeachment battle
  6. ^ Democracy, South Korean-style: MPs blasted with fire extinguishers after trying to break into Parliament with hoses and sledgehammers
  7. ^ South Korea lawmakers: Reaching across the aisle with a sledgehammer
  8. ^ South Korean politicians use fire extinguishers against opposition
  9. ^ Hall of Violence
  10. ^ Setting the Stage
  11. ^ ICL - South Korea Index

Coordinates: 37°31′43″N 126°55′03″E / 37.52848°N 126.91744°E / 37.52848; 126.91744


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