Political and Governmental Vocabulary in Korean

This post gives an overview of South Korea’s government along with teaching political and governmental vocabulary in Korean.
Click here to jump to the list of political and governmental vocabulary at the bottom of the post.

 

The Government of the Republic of Korea
대한민국정부

The Republic of Korea, also known as the ROK and South Korea, is a democratic republic. The government has three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The ROK’s constitution was adopted on July 17th, 1948 and has been amended nine times.

Korean Flag in Korean 태극기
Korean Flag in Korean 태극기

 

The Executive Branch 행정부

The executive branch is led by the president, 대통령, who is the only member of the executive branch that is elected. The president is elected by popular vote, serves one five-year term, and may not serve a second term. The president serves as head of government, head of state, and commander in chief.

박근혜 Park Geun-hye The 11th President of South Korea
박근혜 Park Geun-hye
The 11th President
2013-present
이명박 Lee Myung-bak The 10th President of South Korea 노무현 No Moo-hyun The 9th President of South Korea 김대중 Kim Dae-jung The 8th President of South Korea 김영삼 Kim Young-sam The 7th President of South Korea 노태우 Roh Tae-woo The 6th President of South Korea
이명박 Lee Myung-bak
The 10th President
2008-2013
 노무현 No Moo-hyun
The 9th President
2003-2008
 김대중 Kim Dae-jung
The 8th President
1998-2003
김영삼 Kim Young-sam
The 7th President
1993-1998
노태우 Roh Tae-woo
The 6th President
1988-1993
전두환 Chun Doo-hwan The 5th President of South Korea 최규하 Choi Kyu-hah The 4th President of South Korea 박정희 Park Chung-hee The 3rd President of South Korea 윤보선 Yun Posun The 2nd President of South Korea 이승만 Rhee Syngman The 1st President of South Korea
전두환 Chun Doo-hwan
The 5th President
1980-1988
최규하 Choi Kyu-hah
The 4th President
1979-1980
박정희 Park Chung-hee
The 3rd President
1963-1979
윤보선 Yun Posun
The 2nd President
1960-1962
이승만 Rhee Syngman
The 1st President
1948-1960

 

Presidential Powers & Duties

According to Chapter 3 of the constitution of the Republic of Korea
Uphold the constitution
Protect and secure the Republic of Korea’s homeland
Work to peacefully reunify the Korean peninsula

Additional Powers and Duties
Control the military
Declare war
Declare a state of emergency
Lead the government
Issue executive orders
Veto bills
Introduce bills

 

South Korea Executive Branch Organizational Figure

South Korea Executive Branch Organizational Figure

The Blue House 청와대

The Blue House is where the President of South Korea lives. The Blue House is located in Seoul, 서울, the capital of South Korea. The Blue House was built at the site of a royal garden from the Joseon Dynasty, 조선 왕조.  The Blue House actually refers to a number of buildings. The name “The Blue House” comes from the fact that about 150 thousand blue tiles cover the roofs of the buildings resembling traditional Korean architecture.

 

President Obama and 박근혜, Park Geun-hye, exiting the Blue House.

Address:
1, Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 청와대로 1 (세종로)

 

The Legislative Branch 입법부

The South Korean legislative branch has only one chamber called the National Assembly of South Korea. The National Assembly has 300 members who serve four year terms. A person must be at least 30 years old to serve in the National Assembly. The National Assembly has built a reputation for legislative violence especially during the years 2004 to 2009. People used sledgehammers, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, and anything in arms reach at times during melees.

The National Assembly of South Korea 대한민국 국회
The National Assembly of South Korea 대한민국 국회

 

The National Assembly of South Korea’s duties:

1. Confirm the Government Budget, 정부 예산을 확인한다
The session to confirm the government budget begins on September 1st of each year and may last no longer than 100 days.

 

2. Amend the Constitution, 헌법을 개정하다

The Republic of Korea Constitutional Amendment Process
The Republic of Korea Constitutional Amendment Process

 

3. Pass and Amend Law, 법을 가결하고 개정하다

The Republic of Korea Law Passing Process
The Republic of Korea Law Passing Process

 

4. Ratify Treaties, 조약을 비준하다
The National Assembly has the power to ratify treaties with other countries.

 

Politics and Government Korean Vocabulary

Korean English
입법부 legislative branch
대한민국 The Republic of Korea
국회 national assembly
정부 government
예산 budget
확인하다 check, confirm
헌법 constitution
개정하다 amend
law
가결하다 pass, approve
조약 treaty
비준하다 ratify

 

 

The Judicial Branch 사법부

The supreme court is the highest and consists of the cheif justice and 13 associate justices. The 13 associate justices are appointed by the president while the chief justice may not be reappointed.

 

The judicial branch consist of:

The Supreme Court, 최고 법원
High Courts, 고등 법원
District Courts, 지방 법원
Family Courts, 가정 법원
Patent Courts, 특허법원
Administrative Courts, 행정 법원

 

 

Political and Governmental Vocabulary in Korean

Korean English Korean English
정치 politics 입법부 legislative branch
정치인 politician 대한민국 The Republic of Korea
정부 government 국회 national assembly
투표하다 vote 정부의 governmental
투표 voter’s ballot 예산 budget
선거 election 헌법 constitution
정당 political party 확인하다 check, confirm
정치 시위 political protest 개정하다 amend
자본주의 capitalism law
사회주의 socialism 합법적인 legal
공산주의 communism 불법적인 illegal 
독재 dictatorship 가결하다 pass, approve
대통령 president of a country 조약 treaty
시장 mayor 비준하다 ratify
시청 city hall 시위 demonstration, protest
총선 general election 헌법 constitution
캠페인 campaign 자유 freedom
공화주의자 republican 민주주의 democracy
민주주의자 democrat 민주적 democratic
정치학 political science 시민 citizen

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