Korean People's Army

Last updated

Korean People's Army
조선인민군
Emblem of the Korean People's Army.svg
Emblem of the Korean People's Army
Flag of the Korean People's Army Ground Force.svg
The KPA has not had a discrete flag of its own since 1993; however the flag of the KPA Ground Force is sometimes used to represent the entirety of the KPA. [1]
Founded25 April 1932
Current form8 February 1948
Service branchesFlag of the Korean People's Army Ground Force.svg  KPA Ground Force
Flag of the Korean People's Navy.svg  KPA Naval Force
Flag of the Korean People's Army Air Force.svg  KPA Air and Anti-Air Force
Flag of the Korean People's Army Strategic Force.svg KPA Strategic Rocket Force
Flag of the Korean People's Army Special Operation Force.svg KPA Special Operation Force
Headquarters State Affairs Commission, Pyongyang
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief Standard of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.svg Marshal of the Republic Kim Jong-un
(also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC))
Vice chair of the Central Military Commission Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.svg Army Marshal Ri Pyong-chol
Minister of Defence Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.svg General Kim Jong-gwan
Chief of the General Staff Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.svg Army Marshal Pak Jong-chon
Director of the General Political Bureau Flag of the Workers' Party of Korea.svg General Kim Su-gil
Manpower
Military age17-30
Conscription18
Active personnel1,280,000 [2] (ranked 4th)
Reserve personnel600,000 [2]
Expenditures
BudgetUS$1.6 billion (2018) [3]
Percent of GDP4.9% (2018) [3]
Industry
Domestic suppliers
Foreign suppliersFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan
Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait
Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
Related articles
Ranks Comparative military ranks of Korea
'Korean People's Army'
Chosŏn'gŭl
조선인민군
Hancha
朝鮮人民軍
Revised Romanization Joseon Inmingun
McCune–Reischauer Chosŏn Inmingun

The Korean People's Army (KPA; Korean: 조선인민군; Hanja: 朝鮮人民軍; Chosŏn-inmin'gun; lit.'"Korean People's Military"') are the military forces of North Korea and the armed wing of the Workers' Party of Korea. [4] Under the Songun policy, it is the central institution of North Korean society. Kim Jong-un serves as Supreme Commander and the chairman of the Central Military Commission. The KPA consists of five branches: the Ground Force, the Naval Force, the Air and Anti-Air Force, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Special Operation Force.

Contents

The KPA considers its primary adversaries to be the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and United States Forces Korea, across the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as it has since the Armistice Agreement of July 1953. As of 2016, with 5,889,000 paramilitary personnel, it is the largest military organisation in the world. This numbers 25% of the North Korean population. [5] [6]

History

The KPA's first flag, used in 1948 Flag of the Korean People's Army (1948).svg
The KPA's first flag, used in 1948
The KPA's flag from 1992 to 1993. Since this flag's retirement in 1993, the KPA has not had its own dedicated flag. Flag of the Korean People's Army (1992-1993).svg
The KPA's flag from 1992 to 1993. Since this flag's retirement in 1993, the KPA has not had its own dedicated flag.
The KPA has not had a discrete flag of its own since 1993; however the flag of the KPA Ground Force is sometimes used to represent the entire Korean People's Army. Flag of the Korean People's Army Ground Force.svg
The KPA has not had a discrete flag of its own since 1993; however the flag of the KPA Ground Force is sometimes used to represent the entire Korean People's Army.
A monument in Pyongyang, depicting North Korean airmen and a MiG fighter. Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum Monument4.jpg
A monument in Pyongyang, depicting North Korean airmen and a MiG fighter.

Korean People's Revolutionary Army 1932–1948

Kim Il-sung's anti-Japanese guerrilla army, the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, was established on 25 April 1932. This revolutionary army was transformed into the regular army on 8 February 1948. Both these are celebrated as army days, with decennial anniversaries treated as major celebrations, except from 1978 to 2014 when only the 1932 anniversary was celebrated. [8] [9]

Korean Volunteer Army 1939–1948

In 1939, the Korean Volunteer Army (KVA), was formed in Yan'an, China. [10] The two individuals responsible for the army were Kim Tu-bong and Mu Chong. At the same time, a school was established near Yan'an for training military and political leaders for a future independent Korea. By 1945, the KVA had grown to approximately 1,000 men, mostly Korean deserters from the Imperial Japanese Army. During this period, the KVA fought alongside the Chinese communist forces from which it drew its arms and ammunition. After the defeat of the Japanese, the KVA accompanied the Chinese communist forces into eastern Jilin, intending to gain recruits from ethnic Koreans in China, particularly from Yanbian, and then enter Korea. [11]

Soviet Korean Units

Just after World War II and during the Soviet Union's occupation of the part of Korea north of the 38th Parallel, the Soviet 25th Army headquarters in Pyongyang issued a statement ordering all armed resistance groups in the northern part of the peninsula to disband on 12 October 1945. Two thousand Koreans with previous experience in the Soviet army were sent to various locations around the country to organise constabulary forces with permission from Soviet military headquarters, and the force was created on 21 October 1945. [12]

Formation of National Army

The headquarters felt a need for a separate unit for security around railways, and the formation of the unit was announced on 11 January 1946. That unit was activated on 15 August of the same year to supervise existing security forces and creation of the national armed forces. [13]

Military institutes such as the Pyongyang Academy (became No. 2 KPA Officers School in Jan. 1949) and the Central Constabulary Academy (became KPA Military Academy in Dec. 1948) soon followed for the education of political and military officers for the new armed forces.

After the military was organised and facilities to educate its new recruits were constructed, the Constabulary Discipline Corps was reorganised into the Korean People's Army General Headquarters. The previously semi-official units became military regulars with the distribution of Soviet uniforms, badges, and weapons that followed the inception of the headquarters. [13]

The State Security Department, a forerunner to the Ministry of People's Defense, was created as part of the Interim People's Committee on 4 February 1948. The formal creation of the Korean People's Army was announced four days later on 8 February, the day after the Fourth Plenary Session of the People's Assembly approved the plan to separate the roles of the military and those of the police, [14] seven months before the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on 9 September 1948. In addition, the Ministry of State for the People's Armed Forces was established, which controlled a central guard battalion, two divisions, and an independent mixed and combined arms brigade. [15]

Conflicts and events

The Memorial of Soldiers at the Mansudae Grand Monument Mansudae Grand Monument 26.JPG
The Memorial of Soldiers at the Mansudae Grand Monument

Before the outbreak of the Korean War, Joseph Stalin equipped the KPA with modern tanks, trucks, artillery, and small arms (at the time, the South Korean Army had nothing remotely comparable either in numbers of troops or equipment). During the opening phases of the Korean War in 1950, the KPA quickly drove South Korean forces south and captured Seoul, only to lose 70,000 of their 100,000-strong army in the autumn after U.S. amphibious landings at the Battle of Incheon and a subsequent drive to the Yalu River. On 4 November, China openly staged a military intervention. On 7 December, Kim Il-sung was deprived of the right of command of KPA by China. [16] The KPA subsequently played a secondary minor role to Chinese forces in the remainder of the conflict. By the time of the Armistice in 1953, the KPA had sustained 290,000 casualties and lost 90,000 men as POWs.

In 1953, the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) was able to oversee and enforce the terms of the armistice. The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), made up of delegations from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, carried out inspections to ensure implementation of the terms of the Armistice that prevented reinforcements or new weapons being brought into Korea.

Soviet thinking on the strategic scale was replaced since December 1962 with a people's war concept. The Soviet idea of direct warfare was replaced with a Maoist war of attrition strategy. Along with the mechanisation of some infantry units, more emphasis was put on light weapons, high-angle indirect fire, night fighting, and sea denial. [17]

Date of establishment history

Until 1977, original Korean People's Army's official date of establishment was 8 February 1948. But in 1978, changed to 25 April 1932, Kim Il-sung's anti-Japanese guerrilla army – Korean People's Revolutionary Army, considered the predecessor of the Korean People's Army, was formed on 25 April 1932. [18] [19] The date of establishment was officially changed back to 8 February 1948 by 2019, however. [20]

Organization

A North Korean soldier at the DMZ, 2005 North Korean soldier Demilitarized Zone of Korea 2005.jpg
A North Korean soldier at the DMZ, 2005

Commission and leadership

The primary path for command and control of the KPA extends through the National Defence Commission which was led by its chairman Kim Jong-il until 2011, to the Ministry of Defence and its General Staff Department. [21] From there on, command and control flows to the various bureaus and operational units. A secondary path, to ensure political control of the military establishment, extends through the Workers' Party of Korea's Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Since 1990, numerous and dramatic transformations within the DPRK have led to the current command and control structure. The details of the majority of these changes are simply unknown to the world. What little is known indicates that many changes were the natural result of the deaths of the aging leadership including Kim Il-sung (July 1994), Minister of People's Armed Forces O Chin-u (February 1995) and Minister of Defence Choi Kwang (February 1997).

The vast majority of changes were undertaken to secure the power and position of Kim Jong-il. Formerly the State Affairs Commission, from its founding in 1972 (originally the National Defence Commission), was part of the Central People's Committee (CPC) while the Ministry of Defence, from 1982 onward, was under direct presidential control. At the Eighteenth session of the sixth Central People's Committee, held on 23 May 1990, the SAC became established as its own independent commission, rising to the same status as the CPC (now the Cabinet of North Korea) and not subordinated to it, as was the case before. Concurrent with this, Kim Jong-il was appointed first vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission. The following year, on 24 December 1991, Kim Jong-il was appointed Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army. Four months later, on 20 April 1992, Kim Jong-il was awarded the rank of Marshal and his father, in virtue of being the KPA's founding commander in chief, became Grand Marshal as a result and one year later he became the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, by now under Supreme People's Assembly control under the then 1992 constitution as amended.

Almost all officers of the KPA began their military careers as privates; only very few people are admitted to a military academy without prior service. The results is an egalitarian military system where officers are familiar with the life of a military private and "military nobility" is all but nonexistent. [22]

Within the KPA, between December 1991 and December 1995, nearly 800 high officers (out of approximately 1,200) received promotions and preferential assignments. Three days after Kim Jong-il became Marshal, eight generals were appointed to the rank of Vice-Marshal. In April 1997, on the 85th anniversary of Kim Il-sung's birthday, Kim Jong-il promoted 127 general and admiral grade officers. The following April he ordered the promotions of another 22 generals and flag officers. Along with these changes, many KPA officers were appointed to influential positions within the Korean Workers' Party. These promotions continue today, simultaneous with the celebration of Kim Il-sung's birthday and the KPA anniversary celebrations every April and since recently in July to honour the end of the Korean War. Under Kim Jong-il's leadership, political officers dispatched from the party monitored every move of a general's daily life, according to analysts [23] similar to the work of Soviet political commissars during the early and middle years of the military establishment.

Today the KPA exercises full control of both the Politburo and the Central Military Commission of the WPK, the KPA General Political and General Staff Departments and the Ministry of Defence, all having KPA representatives with a minimum general officer rank. Following changes made during the 4th session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly on 29 June 2016, the State Affairs Commission has overseen the Ministry of Defence as part of its systemic responsibilities. All members of the State Affairs Commission have membership status (regular or alternate) on the WPK Political Bureau.

Ground force formations

Conscription and terms of service

North Korean soldiers at Panmunjom Korean People's Army Soldiers prepare to repatriate remains during a repatriation ceremony at the Panmunjom Joint Security Area on 981106-F-AF179-013.jpg
North Korean soldiers at Panmunjom

North Korea has universal conscription for males and selective conscription for females with many pre- and post-service requirements.[ citation needed ] Article 86 of the North Korean Constitution states: "National defence is the supreme duty and honour of citizens. Citizens shall defend the country and serve in the armed forces as required by law." [24]

KPA soldiers serve three years of military service in the KPA, which also runs its own factories, farms and trading arms. [23]

Paramilitary organisations

The Young Red Guards are the youth cadet corps of the KPA for secondary level and university level students. Every Saturday, they hold mandatory 4-hour military training drills, and have training activities on and off campus to prepare them for military service when they turn 18 or after graduation, as well as for contingency measures in peacetime.

Under the Ministry of Social Security and the wartime control of the Ministry of Defence, and formerly the Korean People's Security Forces, the Korean People's Internal Security Forces forms the national gendarmerie and civil defence force of the KPA. The KPISF has its units in various fields like civil defence, traffic management, civil disturbance control, and local security. It has its own special forces units. The service shares the ranks of the KPA (with the exception of Marshals) but wears different uniforms.

Budget and commercial interests

The KPA's annual budget is approximately US$6 billion. In 2009, the U.S. Institute for Science and International Security reported that North Korea may possess fissile material for around two to nine nuclear warheads. [25] The North Korean Songun ("Military First") policy elevates the KPA to the primary position in the government and society.

Korean People's Army vehicles on parade Tank in the DPRK Victory Day Parade.jpg
Korean People's Army vehicles on parade

According to North Korea's state news agency, military expenditures for 2010 made up 15.8 percent of the state budget. [26] Most analyses of North Korea's defence sector, however, estimate that defence spending constitutes between one-quarter and one-third of all government spending. As of 2003, according to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, North Korea's defence budget consumed some 25 percent of central government spending. [27] In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, according to figures released by the Polish Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, between 32 and 38 percent of central government expenditures went towards defence. [28]

Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok meets Bill Clinton at the White House, October 2000 Cho Myong-nok and Bill Clinton.jpg
Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok meets Bill Clinton at the White House, October 2000

North Korea sells missiles and military equipment to many countries worldwide. [29] In April 2009, the United Nations named the Korea Mining and Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) as North Korea's primary arms dealer and main exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. It also named Korea Ryonbong as a supporter of North Korea's military related sales. [30]

Historically, North Korea has assisted a vast number of revolutionary, insurgent and terrorist groups in more than 62 countries. A cumulative total of more than 5,000 foreign personnel have been trained in North Korea, and over 7,000 military advisers, primarily from the Reconnaissance General Bureau, have been dispatched to some forty-seven countries. Some of the organisations which received North Korean aid include the Polisario Front, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the Communist Party of Thailand, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade received its initial training from KPA instructors. [31] North Korean troops allegedly saw combat during the Libyan–Egyptian War and the Angolan Civil War. [32] Up to 200 KPAF pilots took part in the Vietnam War, [33] scoring several kills against US aircraft. [34] [35] [36] Two KPA anti-aircraft artillery regiments were sent to North Vietnam as well. [37]

North Korean instructors trained Hezbollah fighters in guerrilla warfare tactics around 2004, prior to the Second Lebanon War. [38] During the Syrian Civil War, Arabic-speaking KPA officers may have assisted the Syrian Arab Army in military operations planning and have supervised artillery bombardments in the Aleppo area. [39]

Service branches

Ground Force

Koksan, one of North Korea's principal heavy artillery pieces. This example was captured in Iraq. SPG M-1978 KOKSAN.JPG
Koksan, one of North Korea's principal heavy artillery pieces. This example was captured in Iraq.
North Korean soldiers standing at the JSA between the blue buildings DMZ seen from the north, 2005.jpg
North Korean soldiers standing at the JSA between the blue buildings

The Korean People's Army Ground Force (KPAGF) is the main branch of the Korean People's Army responsible for land-based military operations. It is the de facto army of North Korea.

The Korean People's Army Naval Force (KPANF) is organized into two fleets which are not able to support each other. The East Fleet is headquartered at T'oejo-dong and the West Fleet at Nampho. A number of training, shipbuilding and maintenance units and a naval air wing report directly to Naval Command Headquarters at Pyongyang. [40] The majority of the Navy's ships are assigned to the East Fleet. Due to the short range of most ships, the two fleets are not known to have ever conducted joint operations or shared vessels. [41]

Air and Anti-Air Force

A former Indonesian Lim-5 on display in the United States in North Korean markings Mig17-north korea.jpg
A former Indonesian Lim-5 on display in the United States in North Korean markings

The Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force (KPAAF) is also responsible for North Korea's air defence forces through the use of anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles (SAM). While much of the equipment is outdated, the high saturation of multilayered, overlapping, mutually supporting air defence sites provides a formidable challenge to enemy air attacks. [42]

Strategic Rocket Force

The Korean People's Army Strategic Rocket Force (KPASRF) is a major division of the KPA that controls the DPRK's nuclear and conventional strategic missiles. It is mainly equipped with surface-to-surface missiles of Soviet and Chinese design, as well as locally developed long-range missiles.

Special Operation Force

The Korean People's Army Special Operation Force (KPASOF) is an asymmetric force with a total troop size of 200,000. Since the Korean War (North Korea: the Korean War of Liberation), it has continued to play a role of concentrating infiltration of troops into the territory of the Republic of South Korea and conducting sabotage. [43]

Capabilities

A semi-submersible infiltration craft used by North Korean special forces in the 1980s North korean-semi-submersible.jpg
A semi-submersible infiltration craft used by North Korean special forces in the 1980s

After the Korean War, North Korea maintained a powerful, but smaller military force than that of South Korea. In 1967 the KPA forces of about 345,000 were much smaller than the South Korean ground forces of about 585,000. [44] North Korea's relative isolation and economic plight starting from the 1980s has now tipped the balance of military power into the hands of the better-equipped South Korean military. [29] In response to this predicament, North Korea relies on asymmetric warfare techniques and unconventional weaponry to achieve parity against high-tech enemy forces. [29] North Korea is reported to have developed a wide range of technologies towards this end, such as stealth paint to conceal ground targets, [45] midget submarines and human torpedoes, [46] blinding laser weapons, [47] and probably has a chemical weapons program and is likely to possess a stockpile of chemical weapons. [48] The Korean People's Army operates ZM-87 anti-personnel lasers, which are banned under the United Nations Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons. [47]

Since the 1980s, North Korea has also been actively developing its own cyber warfare capabilities. As of 2014, the secretive Bureau 121 – the elite North Korean cyber warfare unit – comprises approximately 1,800 highly trained hackers. In December 2014, the Bureau was accused of hacking Sony and making threats, leading to the cancellation of The Interview , a political satire comedy film based on the assassination of Kim Jong-un. [49] The Korean People's Army has also made advances in electronic warfare by developing GPS jammers. [50] Current models include vehicle-mounted jammers with a range of 50 kilometres (31 mi)-100 kilometres (62 mi). Jammers with a range of more than 100 km are being developed, along with electromagnetic pulse bombs. [51] The Korean People's Army has also made attempts to jam South Korean military satellites. [52] North Korea does not have satellites capable of obtaining satellite imagery useful for military purposes, and appears to use imagery from foreign commercial platforms. [53]

Despite the general fuel and ammunition shortages for training, it is estimated that the wartime strategic reserves of food for the army are sufficient to feed the regular troops for 500 days, while fuel and ammunition – amounting to 1.5 million and 1.7 million tonnes respectively – are sufficient to wage a full-scale war for 100 days. [54]

The KPA does not operate aircraft carriers, but has other means of power projection. Korean People's Air Force Il-76MD aircraft provide a strategic airlift capacity of 6,000 troops, while the Navy's sea lift capacity amounts to 15,000 troops. [55] The Strategic Rocket Forces operate more than 1,000 ballistic missiles according to South Korean officials in 2010, [56] although the U.S. Department of Defense reported in 2012 that North Korea has fewer than 200 missile launchers. [48] North Korea acquired 12 Foxtrot class and Golf-II class missile submarines as scrap in 1993. [57] Some analysts suggest that these have either been refurbished with the help of Russian experts or their launch tubes have been reverse-engineered and externally fitted to regular submarines or cargo ships. [58] However GlobalSecurity reports that the submarines were rust-eaten hulks with the launch tubes inactivated under Russian observation before delivery, [59] and the U.S. Department of Defense does not list them as active. [48]

A photograph of Kim Jong-un receiving a briefing from his top generals on 29 March 2013 showed a list that purported to show that the military had a minimum of 40 submarines, 13 landing ships, 6 minesweepers, 27 support vessels and 1,852 aircraft. [60]

The Korean People's Army operates a very large amount of equipment, including 4,100 tanks, 2,100 APCs, 8,500 field artillery pieces, 5,100 multiple rocket launchers, [48] 11,000 air defence guns and some 10,000 MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles [61] in the Ground force; about 500 vessels in the Navy [48] and 730 combat aircraft in the Air Force, [48] of which 478 are fighters and 180 are bombers. [62] North Korea also has the largest special forces in the world, as well as the largest submarine fleet. [63] The equipment is a mixture of World War II vintage vehicles and small arms, widely proliferated Cold War technology, and more modern Soviet or locally produced weapons.

North Korea possesses a vast array of long range artillery in shelters just north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. It has been a long-standing cause for concern that a preemptive strike or retaliatory strike on Seoul using this arsenal of artillery north of the Demilitarized Zone would lead to a massive loss of life in Seoul. Estimates on how many people would die in an attack on Seoul vary. When the Clinton administration mobilised forces over the reactor at Yongbyon in 1994, planners concluded that retaliation by North Korea against Seoul could kill 40,000 people. [64] Other estimates projects hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of fatalities if North Korea uses chemical munitions. [65]

Military equipment

Weapons

The KPA possess a variety of Chinese and Soviet sourced equipment and weaponry, as well as locally produced versions and improvements of the former. [66] Soldiers are mostly armed with indigenous Kalashnikov-type rifles as the standard issue weapon. Front line troops are issued the Type 88, while the older Type 58 assault rifle and Type 68A/B have been shifted to rear echelon or home guard units. [67] A rifle of unknown nomenclature was seen during the 2017 'Day of the Sun' military parade, appearing to consist of a grenade launcher and a standard assault rifle, similar to the U.S OICW or South Korean S&T Daewoo K11. [68] North Korea generally designates rifles as "Type XX", similar to the Chinese naming system. On 15 November 2018, North Korea successfully tested a "newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon". Leader Kim Jong-un observed the test at the Academy of Defense Science and called it a "decisive turn" in bolstering the combat power of the North Korean army.

There is a Korean People's Army Military Hardware Museum located in Pyongyang that displays a range of the equipment used. [69]

Chemical weapons

The U.S. Department of Defense believes North Korea probably has a chemical weapons program and is likely to possess a stockpile of such weapons. [48]

Nuclear capabilities

North Korean ballistic missiles North Korea's ballistic missile - North Korea Victory Day-2013 02.jpg
North Korean ballistic missiles

North Korea has tested a series of different missiles, including short-, medium-, intermediate-, and intercontinental- range, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Estimates of the country's nuclear stockpile vary: some experts believe Pyongyang has between fifteen and twenty nuclear weapons, while U.S. intelligence believes the number to be between thirty and sixty bombs. The regime conducted two tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead in July 2017. The Pentagon confirmed North Korea's ICBM tests, and analysts estimate that the new missile has a potential range of 10,400 kilometres (6,500 mi) and, if fired on a flatter trajectory, could be capable of reaching mainland U.S. territory. [70]

Nuclear tests

On 9 October 2006, the North Korean government announced that it had unsuccessfully attempted a nuclear test for the first time. Experts at the United States Geological Survey and Japanese seismological authorities detected an earthquake with a preliminary estimated magnitude of 4.3 from the site in North Korea, proving the official claims to be true. [71]

North Korea also went on to claim that it had developed a nuclear weapon in 2009. It is widely believed to possess a stockpile of relatively simple nuclear weapons. The IAEA has met Ri Je-son, The Director General of the General Department of Atomic Energy (GDAE) of North Korea, to discuss nuclear matters. [72] [73] Ri Je Son was also mentioned in this role in 2002 in a United Nations article. [74]

On 3 September 2017, the North Korean leadership announced that it had conducted a nuclear test with what it claimed to be its first hydrogen bomb detonation. [75] The detonation took place at an underground location at the Punggye-Ri nuclear test site in North Hamgyong Province at 12:00 pm local time. [76] South Korean officials claimed the test yielded 50 kilotons of explosive force, with many international observers claiming the test likely involved some form of a thermonuclear reaction. [76]

Other

See also

Notes

  1. Tertitskiy, Fyodor; Hotham, Oliver (10 April 2018). "What North Korea's army flags can teach us about its recent history". NK News. Retrieved 12 November 2018. ..despite some claims, there has been no design for a unified flag for all the Armed Forces since: the DPRK occasionally, however, uses the Ground Forces flag as a substitute to symbolize the entire military.
  2. 1 2 IISS 2019, pp. 280–281
  3. 1 2 "Military expenditure by country, in constant (2017) US$ m., 1988–2018" (PDF). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  4. "Korean People's Army". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 16 September 2019. The Korean People's Army is the "revolutionary armed wing" of the Worker's Party as stated in Article 46 of the party constitution, with first and foremost loyalties to the party.
  5. UNFPA (1 October 2009). 한반도 인구 7천400만명 시대 임박 (in Korean). United Nations. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2012.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "DPR Korea 2008 Population Census: National Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  7. Tertitskiy, Fyodor; Hotham, Oliver (10 April 2018). "What North Korea's army flags can teach us about its recent history". NK News. Retrieved 12 November 2018. The modern design of the flags appeared in 1993, when Kim Jong Il replaced the flag of the KPA with three separate ones for the army, navy, and air force. [...] despite some claims, there has been no design for a unified flag for all the Armed Forces since: the DPRK occasionally, however, uses the Ground Forces flag as a substitute to symbolize the entire military.
  8. Carlin, Robert (1 February 2018). "A Few Facts on North Korea's Army Day". 38 North. U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  9. See "Puk chuyo’gi’nyŏm’il 5–10 nyŏnmada taegyumo yŏlpyŏngsik" (North Korea Holds Large Military Parades for Anniversaries Every 5–10 years), Chosŏn Ilbo, 25 April 2007; Chang Jun-ik, "Pukhan Inmingundaesa" (History of the North Korean Military), Seoul, Sŏmundang, 1991, pp. 19–88; Kim Kwang-su, "Chosŏninmingun’ŭi ch’angsŏlgwa palchŏn, 1945~1990" (Foundation and Development of the Korean People's Army, 1945~1990), Chapter Two in Kyŏngnam University North Korean Studies Graduate School, Pukhan’gunsamunje’ŭi chaejomyŏng (The Military of North Korea: A New Look), Seoul, Hanul Academy, 2006, pp. 63–78.
  10. Scobell & Sanford 2007, p. 18.
  11. Elleman, Bruce. Beijing's Power and China's Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Routledge (2014). pp. 116–117
  12. Scobell & Sanford 2007, pp. 18–19.
  13. 1 2 Scobell & Sanford 2007, p. 19.
  14. James M. Minnich, The North Korean People's Army, p. 36
  15. Scobell & Sanford 2007, p. 20.
  16. Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, MAO: The Unknown Story.
  17. "The Evolution of North Korean Military Thought". North Korea Country Study. Library of Congress Country Studies. 1993.
  18. 金正日(김정일)권력승계 큰 變數(변수) 「軍部(군부)장악」유난히 강조 (in Korean). Naver.
  19. A Few Facts on North Korea's Army Day
  20. 건군절 변천사와 김정은의 고뇌. dailynk.com (in Korean).
  21. United States Department of Defense Virtual Information Center, North Korea Primer Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine accessed 27 June 2011
  22. Tertitskiy, Fyodor (6 June 2016). "The good things in North Korea". NK News. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  23. 1 2 Sang-hun, Choe (24 December 2011). "Kim Jong-un Hailed as Supreme Commander of North Korea's Military". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  24. "Chapter V, Article 86". Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (PDF). Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House. 2014. p. 18. ISBN   978-9946-0-1099-1. Archived from the original on 8 June 2016 Amended and supplemented on 1 April, Juche 102 (2013), at the Seventh Session of the Twelfth Supreme People's Assembly.
  25. ISIS Fast Facts on North Korea Archived 17 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 21 April 2009
  26. "Report on Implementation of 2009 Budget and 2010 Budget". Korean Central News Agency. 9 April 2010. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011.
  27. Military Balance, 2004–2005, pp. 353–357.
  28. Scobell, Going Out of Business, p. 14, Table 2, p. 17.
  29. 1 2 3 Bradley Martin, Bradley Martin (25 March 2013). "The Regime That Will Not Die: The North Korean Hybrid Threat". International Affairs Review. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  30. "UN Listing of KOMID and Ryonbong" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  31. "Relations with the Third World". North Korea Country Study. Library of Congress Country Studies. 1993.
  32. "Angola – Foreign Influences". Country-data.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  33. Asia Times, 18 August 2006, Richard M Bennett Missiles and madness.
  34. "Vietnamese Air-to-Air Victories, Part 1". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  35. "Vietnamese Air-to-Air Victories, Part 2 (ACIG.org)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  36. "Far Eastern Air-to-Air Victories (ACIG.org)". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  37. Pribbenow, Merle (2003). "The 'Ology War: technology and ideology in the defense of Hanoi, 1967". Journal of Military History (67:1): 183.
  38. Farquhar, Scott. Back to Basics: A Study of the Second Lebanon War and Operation CAST LEAD (PDF). Combat Studies Institute Press. p. 9. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 October 2011.
  39. "N.Korean Officers 'Helping Syrian Gov't Forces'". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  40. Bermudez (2001), pg 93–95.
  41. Bermudez (2001), pg 101.
  42. "Air Defense". North Korea Country Study. Library of Congress Country Studies. 1993.
  43. Bolger, Daniel P., "Scenes from an Unfinished War: Low-Intensity Conflict in Korea, 1966–1969", Leavenworth Papers No. 19, Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Financial Times. Leavenworth, Kansas, p. 86
  44. North Korean Intentions and Capabilities With Respect to South Korea (PDF) (Report). CIA. 21 September 1967. p. 7,11. SNIE 14.2–67. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  45. North Korea 'develops stealth paint to camouflage fighter jets' Archived 16 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine , The Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2010
  46. North Korea's Human Torpedoes Archived 30 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine , DailyNK, 6 May 2010
  47. 1 2 North Korea's military aging but sizable Archived 3 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine , CNN, 25 November 2010
  48. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (PDF) (Report). U.S. Department of Defense. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  49. Pearson, James; Park, Ju-min (5 December 2014). "In North Korea, hackers are a handpicked, pampered elite". Reuters. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  50. "North Korea Appears Capable of Jamming GPS Receivers". globalsecurity.org. 7 October 2010. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  51. "N.Korea Developing High-Powered GPS Jammer". The Chosun Ilbo . 7 September 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  52. "Satellite in Alleged NK Jamming Attack". Daily NK. 15 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  53. Shim, Elizabeth (17 August 2017). "Expert: Guam image in Kim Jong Un photo from 6 years ago". United Press International . Retrieved 29 August 2017. Hansen added North Korea does not have a satellite capable of taking photos and may have had no choice but to purchase satellite images from an overseas internet website.
  54. Lawmaker Points to 1 Million Tons of War Rice Archived 10 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine , DailyNK, 7 April 2011
  55. 2009 North Korea Country Study, p. 252
  56. Kim, Jack (17 March 2010). "North Korea has 1,000 missiles, South says". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015.
  57. "North Korea's New Missiles". International Assessment and Strategy Center. 20 September 2004. Archived from the original on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  58. "North Korea Develops a Submarine Missile With Shooting Range 2,500km". DailyNK. 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  59. "SSG Golf Class". GlobalSecurity. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  60. "N. Korea's photo offers glimpse of major weapons". Yonhap. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  61. Армии стран мира : К Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine , soldiering.ru
  62. Order of Battle – North Korea Archived 8 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine , MilAviaPress
  63. North Korea Country Study (2009) Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine , Library of Congress, pp.288–293 (on PDF reader)
  64. Pike, John. "OPLAN 5027 Major Theater War – West". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  65. "Sea of sarin: North Korea's chemical deterrent". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  66. Bird, Mike. "This is the military equipment that the North Korean military's packing". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  67. Shea, Dan. "North Korean Small Arms". Small Arms Defense Journal. Archived from the original on 14 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  68. F, Nathaniel (21 April 2017). "North Korean "OICW" Combined Assault Rifle and Automatic Grenade Launcher Revealed During Day of the Sun Parade – The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017.
  69. "Naenara Democratic People's Republic of Korea". www.naenara.com.kp. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  70. Albert, Eleanor. "North Korea's Military Capabilities". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  71. Magnitude 4.3—North Korea (2006 October 09 01:35:28 UTC) (Report). United States Geological Survey (USGS). 9 October 2006. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  72. Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Archived 25 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine IAEA – Board of Governors General Conference
  73. http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Nuke agency wary of N. Korea's invitation". Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  74. Section, United Nations News Service (12 December 2002). "UN News – DPR of Korea informs IAEA of intent to lift 'freeze' on nuclear power plants". UN News Service Section. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  75. Joshua Berlinger; Taehoon Lee. "Nuclear test conducted by North Korea, country claims". CNN.
  76. 1 2 "Sixth Nuclear Test Detected at Punggye-ri, Declared to be a Hydrogen Bomb – 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea". 3 September 2017.

Related Research Articles

North Korea Country in East Asia

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is bordered to the north by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers, and to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the country's capital and largest city.

Kim Jong-il Second supreme leader of North Korea

Kim Jong-il was a North Korean politician who served as the second Supreme Leader of North Korea from 1994 to 2011. He led North Korea from the 1994 death of his father – Kim Il-sung, the first Supreme Leader – until his own death in 2011, when he was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-un.

Korean conflict Conflict between North and South Korea

The Korean conflict is an ongoing conflict based on the division of Korea between North Korea and South Korea, both of which claim to be the sole legitimate government and state of all of Korea. During the Cold War, North Korea was backed by the Soviet Union, China, and its communist allies, while South Korea was backed by the United States and its Western allies. The division of Korea by external powers occurred after World War II had ended, starting in 1945, with the official division in 1948, tensions erupted into the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. When the war ended, both countries were devastated, with utter destruction of much of the countries, but the division remained. North and South Korea continued a military standoff, with periodic clashes. The conflict survived the end of the Cold War and continues to this day.

Wonsu is the highest military rank in the armed forces of North Korea and South Korea.

Korean DMZ Conflict

The Korean DMZ Conflict, also referred to as the Second Korean War by some, was a series of low-level armed clashes between North Korean forces and the forces of South Korea and the United States, largely occurring between 1966 and 1969 at the Korean DMZ.

<i>Songun</i>

Songun (선군정치/先軍政治) is the "military first" policy of North Korea, prioritizing the Korean People's Army in the affairs of state and allocation of resources. "Military first" as a principle guides political and economic life in North Korea, with "military-first politics" dominating the political system; "a line of military-first economic construction" acting as an economic system; and "military-first ideology" serving as the guiding ideology.

Korean Peoples Army Ground Force Land warfare branch of North Koreas military

The Korean People's Army Ground Force is the main branch of the Korean People's Army, responsible for land-based military operations.

Korean Peoples Army Air and Anti-Air Force Air warfare branch of North Koreas military

The Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force is the unified military aviation force of North Korea. It is the second largest branch of the Korean People's Army comprising an estimated 110,000 members. It possesses around 950 aircraft of different types, mostly of decades-old Soviet and Chinese origin. Its primary task is to defend North Korean airspace.

Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of North Korea

The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Democratic People's Republic of Korea was the commander-in-chief of the Korean People's Army, the military of North Korea. The office was established on 4 July 1950 and abolished with the passing of a new constitution in 1972. Since then, the office of President of North Korea, the Chairman of the National Defence Commission and the President of the State Affairs Commission have been referred to as supreme commanders in accordance with the constitution.

Jo Myong-rok

Jo Myong-rok was a North Korean military officer who held the military rank Chasu. In 1998, he was appointed First Vice-Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, Director of the Korean People's Army General Political Bureau. Previously, he was the commander of the air defence forces.

North Korea–Russia relations Diplomatic relations between North Korea and Russia

North Korea-Russia relations is a bilateral relationship between Russia and North Korea. Diplomatic relations between North Korea and the Soviet Union were first established on October 12, 1948, shortly after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed. During the Korean War, the Korean People's Army was supported by the Soviet military forces. North Korea was founded as part of the Communist bloc, and received major Soviet support. China and the Soviet Union competed for influence in North Korea during the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s, as North Korea tried to maintain good relations with both countries.

O Jin-u

O Jin-u was a general and politician of North Korea. He was the Minister of Armed Forces from May 1976 until his death in February 1995. O was considered the third most powerful person in North Korea, after Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il, therefore making him the most powerful person that possessed no blood relations to the Kim family. Very little is known about him except for the fact that he served with Kim Il-sung's partisan unit and eventually rose through the ranks of the North Korean Army. He distinguished himself during the Korean War and was a trusted adviser of the North Korean leader until his death, also being his chief guard in 1945.

Korean Peoples Army Strategic Force Branch of North Koreas army which operates ballistic and nuclear missiles

The Korean People's Army Strategic Rocket Force, also known as Missile Guidance Bureau is a military branch of the Korean People's Army that oversees North Korea's nuclear and conventional strategic missiles. It is mainly armed with surface-to-surface missiles of domestic design as well as older Soviet and Chinese models. The KPA-SRF was established in 1999 when several missile units under KPA Ground Force Artillery Command were re-organized into a single missile force reporting directly to the office of the Supreme Commander of the KPA via the General Staff.

Korean Peoples Army Special Operation Force

The Korean People's Army Special Operation Force, consists of specially equipped and trained elite military units trained to perform military, political, or psychological operations for North Korea. The units are active in testing the defenses of South Korea and have been detected operating in or around South Korea many times in the decades since the end of the Korean War. It is estimated that there are 200,000 SOF soldiers.

Kim Jong-gak is a Korean People's Army (KPA) official. He was a member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). He served as Minister of Defence briefly in 2012, and Director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA in 2018.

Military Foundation Day

Military Foundation Day(Korean: 조선인민군 창건일) is an annual public holiday in North Korea falling on 8 February. It was previously celebrated on 25 April.

April 25 House of Culture

The April 25 House of Culture is a theatre located in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was built in 1974-1975 to provide a venue for military education, and was originally called the February 8 House of Culture. It is located on Pipha Street in the Moranbong District of Pyongyang. The classically colonnaded building is considered one of the best examples of 1970s socialist monumentality in North Korea, the other being the visually similar Mansudae Art Theatre.

2017–2018 North Korea crisis Escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, due to the rapidly improved nuclear weapons capability of North Korea

The 2017–18 North Korea crisis was a period of heightened tension between North Korea and the United States throughout 2017, which began when North Korea conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests that demonstrated the country's ability to launch ballistic missiles beyond its immediate region and suggested that North Korea's nuclear weapons capability was developing at a faster rate than had been assessed by the U.S. intelligence community.

Pyongyang Defense Command Military area

The Pyongyang Defence Command, also known as the Pyongyang Defense Corps is a military area and corps of the Korean People's Army based out of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

Military parades in North Korea

This is a list of military parades held in Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) since 1948. All military parades consist of troops from the Korean People's Army and the paramilitary Worker-Peasant Red Guards. All military parades of a national nature are held on Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung Square with the Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of North Korea in attendance. These parades are broadcast live on Korean Central Television.

References

Further reading