August 30, 2010 / 9:46 AM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX-Five facts about North Korea's Workers' Party

SEOUL, Aug 30 (Reuters) - North Korea’s ruling party holds its biggest meeting in 30 years early next month to pick a new leadership and likely anoint an heir to the dynasty as Kim Jong-il’s health deteriorates. [ID:nTOE67O013]

Here are some facts about the Workers’ Party:

* Founded on Oct. 10, 1945, the Workers’ Party of Korea has been the pinnacle of power in the socialist North, being the source of the go-it-alone Juche ideology, a mix of Marxism and ultra-nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il-sung.

* His son Kim Jong-il now rules as the party’s general secretary on top of his role as the Chairman of the National Defence Commission.

* Next month’s meeting is a party conference, which is basically a simplified version of Party Congress. The last Party Conference was held in 1966. Kim Jong-il was anointed heir-apparent to his father at the last Party Congress held in 1980.

* The meetings serve merely to rubber stamp decisions already taken, whether they be policies or appointments. Ultimately power rests with the leader.

* The meeting could be as short as three or four days, or as was the case with the conference of 1966, drag on for 19 days.

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