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Basic Principles and Classification of Public Officials

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The civil service personnel systems of the Republic of Korea are operated according to three basic principles: a "Democratic Civil Service System” that emphasizes the responsibility to serve the Korean people; a "Career Civil Service System" that recruits and hires talented young people who will devote their life to public service; and a "Merit System" that employs individuals strictly according to their credentials and abilities regardless of partisanship or favoritism.

There are about one million public servants in Korea, of whom 670,000 are national public officials and 370,000 are local officials (as of the end of 2016). Public servants are divided into the following categories: public officials in general service, in charge of technology, research and administration; public officials in special service, such as judges, prosecutors, teachers, and police and fire-fighting officers; and public officials in political service, who are elected officials or require the approval of the National Assembly to be appointed. In addition, public officials are divided into different grades, and public officials in general service consist of the Senior Civil Service (SCS) and grades 3 to 9.

Types of Public Officials

Types of Public Officials

Public Officials in General Service

Public Officials in General Service