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The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) is the sole ruling party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. Founded in 1949 from a merger between the Workers' Party of North Korea and the Workers' Party of South Korea, the WPK is the oldest active party in Korea. It also controls the Korean People's Army, North Korea's armed forces. The WPK is the largest party represented in the Supreme People's Assembly and coexists with two other legal parties that are completely subservient to the WPK and must accept the WPK's "leading role" as a condition of their existence. The WPK is banned in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) under the National Security Act and is sanctioned by the United Nations, the European Union, Australia, and the United States.Officially, the WPK is a communist party guided by Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism, a synthesis of the ideas of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The party is committed to Juche, an ideology attributed to Kim Il Sung which promotes national independence and development through the efforts of the popular masses. Although Juche was originally presented as the Korean interpretation of Marxism–Leninism, the party now presents it as a freestanding philosophy. The WPK recognizes the ruling Kim family as the ultimate source of its political thought. The fourth party conference, held in 2012, amended the party rules to state that Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism was "the only guiding idea of the party". Under Kim Jong Il, who governed as chairman of the National Defence Commission, communism was steadily removed from party and state documents in favor of Songun, or military-first politics. The military, rather than the working class, was established as the base of political power. However, his successor Kim Jong Un reversed this position in 2021, replacing Songun with "people-first politics" as the party's political method and reasserting the party's commitment to communism.The WPK is organized according to the Monolithic Ideological System, conceived by Kim Yong-ju and Kim Jong Il. The highest body of the WPK is formally the party congress; however, before Kim Jong Un's tenure as party leader, a congress rarely occurred. Between 1980 and 2016, there were no congresses held. Although the WPK is organizationally similar to other communist parties, in practice it is far less institutionalized and informal politics plays a larger role than usual. Institutions such as the Central Committee, the Secretariat, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Politburo and the Politburo's Presidium have much less power than what is formally bestowed on them by the party rules. Kim Jong Un is the current party leader, serving as General Secretary of the WPK. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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