Justice Party (South Korea)

The Justice Party (Korean정의당; Hanja正義黨; RRJeonguidang) is a political party in South Korea. It was founded on 21 October 2012 when it split from the Unified Progressive Party.

Justice Party

LeaderSim Sang-jung
Floor LeaderYun So-ha
Secretary GeneralKwan Tae-hong
Founded21 October 2012 (2012-10-21)
Merger ofLabor Politics Coalition
Elements of the Labor Party
Elements of the People's Assembly
Split fromUnified Progressive Party
Headquarters7, Gukhoe-daero 70-, Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul
Youth wingYouth Center
Membership (2020)60,000[1]
IdeologySocial democracy[2]
Political positionCentre-left[5][6][7][8][9]
International affiliationProgressive Alliance (Observer)[10][11]
Colours     Yellow
SloganLabor's Hope, Citizen's Dream (노동의 희망, 시민의 꿈, Nodongi himang, simini kkum)
Seats in the National Assembly
6 / 300
Metropolitan mayor and Gubernatorial
0 / 17
Municipal Mayors
0 / 226
Seats within local government
37 / 3,750
Justice Party
Revised RomanizationJeonguidang
Headquarters and Seoul bureau of Justice Party


The Progressive Justice Party changed its name to the Justice Party at the 2nd party congress on 16 July 2013.[12] At the 4th party congress on 22 November 2015, the party officially merged with the extra-parliamentary groups: Preparatory Committee for the People's Party (2015), Labor Politics Coalition(노동정치연대), Members of Labor Party, after motions to merge the party with the Justice Party failed.

After the merger, Na Gyung-che, Ex-leader of the Labor Party, and Kim Se-kyun, leader of Preparatory Committee for the People's Party, were elevated to co-leadership roles, while Sim Sang-jung remained as a standing party leader.[13] Kim Se-kyun stepped down from the co-leadership role in September 2016.

In the legislative election held in April 2016, the party increased its seat total by one with the election of Roh Hoe-chan to the Seongsan constituency in the city of Changwon. The party polled 7.2% in the party list ballot, returning a total of six legislators to the National Assembly.

In the 2017 election, Sim Sang-jung ran as the party's nominee after winning the party primary. Sim was endorsed by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and ran a campaign focused on labor[14] and social issues. Sim received media attention for being the only candidate arguing in favor of marriage equality during the debate.[15] Sim won 6.2% of the vote, making her the most successful left-wing presidential candidate since the democratization of the country in 1987.

In July 2017, with Sim's two-year leadership term coming to an end, the party elected sitting National Assembly member Lee Jeong-mi as the new leader over Park Won-suk by 56 to 44.[16]

On 31 March 2018, the party confirmed its decision to form a parliamentary group with Party for Democracy and Peace, under the name of Members group of Peace and Justice. The parliamentary group will be officially registered on 2 April.[17] The incumbent floor leader of the party, Roh Hoe-chan was chosen to head the parliamentary group in the National Assembly. Roh Hoe-chan's abrupt passing on 23 July 2018 resulted in the automatic dissolution of the parliamentary group. Roh's death was widely mourned, attracting thousands of mourners and tributes across the South Korean political spectrum.[18] The party retained Roh's Changwon seat, beating Liberty Korea challenger in the by-election held on 13 April 2019.

In July 2019, the party elected Sim Sang-jung as the new leader. It is her second non-consecutive term as the party's leader.[19]



The party calls for structural change of the Korean economy through radical change to the current Chaebol dominated economic system, democratic control of the capitalistic excess through the implementation of economic democracy and public ownership of basic utilities.[3] Pursuing an alternative form of economic system in which basic conditions for people's life is provided for everyone, equally. Where public or market economy is inefficient, the party will advocate a social economy, including cooperatives and further increasing the role of the social economy to the ones traditionally held by the market.[3] It also calls for the protection of and the increasing of labor rights and they promote unionization in the workplace, so to equalize the power balance between the capitalists and the workers.[3] The party advocates for the creation of welfare state, drastically increasing funding in the public sector, providing universal welfare service like childcare, education, employment, housing, healthcare, and post-retirement life. The party will fund these programs through increased taxation based on the redistributive tax policy.[3]


The party calls for an end to unrestricted development, pursuing sustainable development. It is also in favor of animal welfare. It argues in favor of developing renewable energy, with sights on doing away with oil and coal altogether. The party is against nuclear energy as an alternative, and advocates closing down old nuclear power plants and ceasing further construction of the plants.[3]

Social issuesEdit

The party calls for the eradication of all forms of discrimination, advocating increased participation of the minorities in the political sphere. It further advocates pursuing gender equality in the workplaces and preserving women's right to choose to have an abortion. The party favors increased disability rights and protecting migrants from human rights violations and economic discrimination. The party stands strongly against any form of oppression based on one's sexuality or gender identity. It calls for legislation relating to hate crime to protect the human rights of minorities. It also acknowledges diverse family structures without any discrimination.[3]

Foreign relationsEdit

In the midst of the conflict between the United States and China for regional hegemony and Japanese attempts at rearmament, the party believes peace in the Korean peninsula is a paramount issue. The party rejects any form of hegemony from both sides, and refuses to take a side on the issue. The party aims to sign a peace treaty with the North, putting an end to the Korean War once and for all. While the party believes unification between the North and the South should be a desirable goal, it doesn't consider unification through war or collapse of the North Korean regime as a viable solution. Unification should be pursued based on mutual respect between respective countries and further increasing exchange and cooperation.[3]


Roh Hoe-chan (left) and Kang Gi-gap (right) at Sim Sang-jung's campaign rally on 7 May during the presidential election in 2017

Leaders of the Justice PartyEdit

  1. Roh Hoe-chan, Jo Jun-ho (co-serving; 21 October 2012 – 21 July 2013)
  2. Cheon Ho-sun (21 July 2013 – 18 July 2015)
  3. Sim Sang-jung (18 July 2015 – 11 July 2017)
    • Kim Se-kyun (co-serving; 22 November 2015 – 30 September 2016)
    • Na Gyung-che (co-serving; 22 November 2015 – 11 July 2017)
  4. Lee Jeong-mi (11 July 2017 – 13 July 2019)
  5. Sim Sang-jung (13 July 2019 – present)

Leaders in the National AssemblyEdit

  1. Kang Dong-won (21 October 2012 – 2 May 2013)
  2. Sim Sang-jung (2 May 2013 – 9 June 2015)
  3. Jeong Jin-hoo (9 June 2015 – 3 May 2016)
  4. Roh Hoe-chan (3 May 2016 – 23 July 2018)
    • Yun So-ha (Acting) (23 July 2018 – 21 August 2018)
  5. Yun So-ha (21 August 2018 – present)

Election resultsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Candidate Total votes Share of votes Outcome
2017 Sim Sang-jung 2,017,458 6.2% Lost  N

General electionsEdit

Election Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Election leader
6 / 300
1,719,891 7.2%   1 seat; Minority Sim Sang-jung
6 / 300
  2,697,956   9.7%   0 seat; Minority Sim Sang-jung

Local electionsEdit

Election Metropolitan mayor/Governor Provincial legislature Municipal mayor Municipal legislature Election leader
0 / 17
0 / 789
0 / 226
11 / 2,898
Cheon Ho-sun
0 / 17
11 / 824
0 / 226
26 / 2,927
Lee Jeong-mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "정의당은 6만 당원과 300만 지지자와 함께 힘을 하나로 모아 70년 낡은 정치의 판을 갈고, 국회를 근본을 교체해나갈 것입니다." (in Korean). 8 January 2020.
  2. ^ Miller, Owen (18 May 2017). "South Korea After Park". Jacobin. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 정의당 강령 [Justice Party platform]. Justice Party (in Korean). 23 June 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Hanwha Total's chemical leak affects 650 people in South Korea". The Straits Times. 21 May 2019. Minor progressive Justice Party leader Lee Jeong-mi said the company's decision to assign workers unfamiliar with the task to replace those who are on strike was the root cause of the leaks.
  5. ^ Lansford, Tom (25 April 2017). Political Handbook of the World 2016-2017. CQ Press. p. 827. ISBN 9781506327150.
  6. ^ Petricic, Saša (24 September 2017). "The 'frightened dog' and the 'rocket man': Trump-Kim war of words causes rising tensions". CBC News. CBC. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  7. ^ "South Korea: Economic and Political Overview". Nordea Trade. Nordea. 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Minor opposition party picks Rep. Shim Sang-jung as new chief". Yonhap News. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  9. ^ "The political framework of South korea". Import–Export Solutions. Nordea. 2019. Archived from the original on 30 May 2020.
  10. ^ "List of Participants - Denpasar Seminar, 19-20 September 2016 - Progressive Alliance". 22 September 2016.
  11. ^ "List of Participants - Conference in Ulaanbaatar, 25–26 May 2017 - Progressive Alliance". 18 May 2017.
  12. ^ 제2차 당대회(혁신당대회) 회의자료 및 결과. Justice Party (in Korean).
  13. ^ 진보 4개 정당·단체 통합 ‘정의당’ 출범. Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). 22 November 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  14. ^ 심상정, '개혁ㆍ노동 대통령' 강조. Naver (in Korean). 해럴드경제. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  15. ^ 심상정이 꼽은 기억에 남는 순간 'TV토론 성소수자 1분 찬스 발언'. Naver (in Korean). Kyunghyang Sinmun. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  16. ^ 이정미 정의당 당대표 당선... '포스트 노-심 시대' 시작. Naver (in Korean). OhMyNews. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  17. ^ 정의당, 오늘 사상 첫 국회교섭단체 된다…전국위 최종 승인. News1 (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  18. ^ "회찬이형! 잘 가시오!" 노회찬 가는 길 끝까지 함께한 2천여 시민들 (in Korean). OhmyNews. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  19. ^ 돌아온 심상정 대표 "한국당 퇴출시킨다". OhMyNews (in Korean). 13 July 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.

External linksEdit