General discussion


Beware of the 'Sleeping Giant'

By Black Panther ·
whilst the U.S is busy in IRAQ......finding no Nuclear Weapons...

UN watchdog in N Korea nuclear claim
05:47 AEST Tue May 10 2005
AP - North Korea may have enough weapons-grade plutonium to make up to six nuclear bombs, the UN atomic watchdog agency warned as the reclusive regime appeared to soften its resistance to talks on its secretive program.

Mark Gwozdecky, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said inspectors have deduced from the number of spent fuel rods at a key reactor in Yongbyon that the communist country might have enough fissile material to produce half a dozen nuclear warheads.

Army Strength

Armed Forces Overview: The armed forces, known collectively as the Korean People?s Army (KPA), totaled about 1,082,000 in 2002. Components are the army (approximately 950,000 including 88,000 special operations troops), navy (46,000), and air force (86,000). There also are paramilitary security troops, including border guards and public safety personnel, who number around 189,000. The armed forces are under the direction and control of Kim Jong Il, who is supreme commander of the KPA with the title of grand marshal, general secretary of the Korean Workers? Party (KWP), and chairman of the state National Defense Commission. The KWP Military Affairs Committee and the National Defense Commission hold coordinated authority over the armed forces. North Korea is a heavily militarized state with, after China, the United States, and India, the fourth largest population under arms. The active military structure is supported by a 4.7 million-strong reserve component, of which 600,000 army and 65,000 navy personnel are assigned to training units, and approximately 3.5 million are members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, Red Guard Youth, and college training units. An estimated 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2002 went for defense expenditures.
Defense Budget: The defense budget for fiscal year 2002 was estimated at US$3.2 billion. However, foreign experts believe that an estimated $4.7 billion (or even as high as US$5.2 billion)?approximately 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or US$214 per capita? actually went for defense expenditures that year.

Major Military Units: The army has 20 corps: 1 armored, 4 mechanized, 12 infantry, 2 artillery, and 1 capital defense corps. Among these 20 corps are 27 infantry divisions, 15 armored brigades, 9 multiple rocket launcher brigades, 14 infantry brigades, and 21 artillery brigades. The total army strength in 2003 was 950,000 troops. These included 88,000 organized into the Special Purpose Forces Command, which had 10 sniper brigades, 12 light infantry brigades, 17 reconnaissance brigades, 1 airborne battalion, and 8 battalions organized as the Bureau of Reconnaissance Special Forces. There were 40 infantry divisions in reserve status. The navy, primarily a coastal defense force, is headquartered in P?y4ngyang and has a strength of 46,000. It has two fleets, the East Sea Fleet, headquartered at T?oejo-****, and the West or Sea Fleet, headquartered at Namp?o. The East Sea Fleet has nine naval bases, and the West Sea Fleet has 10 naval bases. The air force had a strength of 86,000 with 4 air divisions organized into 33 air regiments plus 3 independent air battalions. Three of the divisions are responsible for north, east, and south defense sectors; a fourth?a training division?is responsible for the northeast sector. The air force has 11 airbases located at strategic points?many aimed at lightning strikes against key South Korean targets?mostly in southern North Korea, with some in rear areas closer to the border with China.

Major Military Equipment: The army?s major military equipment includes 3,500 main battle tanks, 560 light tanks, 2,500 armored personnel carriers, 3,500 pieces of towed artillery, 4,400 pieces of self-propelled artillery, 2,500 multiple rocket launchers, 7,500 mortars, 24 surface-tosurface rockets and missiles, antitank guided weapons, 1,700 recoilless launchers, and 11,000 air defense guns. The navy has 92 submarines, 3 frigates, 6 corvettes, 43 missile craft, 158 large patrol craft, 103 fast torpedo craft, more than 334 patrol force craft, 10 amphibious ships, 2 coastal defense missile batteries, 130 hovercraft, 23 minesweepers, 1 depot ship, 8 midget ships, and 4 survey vessels. The air force has 80 bombers, 541 fighters and ground attack fighters, an estimated 316 transports, 588 transport helicopters (supported by 24 armed helicopters), 228 training aircraft, at least 1 unmanned air vehicle, and a large inventory of air-to-air missiles and surface-to-air missiles.

Military Service: Conscription ages are 20 to 25, with 5- to 8-year terms of service in the army, 5- to 10-year terms in the navy, and 3- to 4-year terms in the air force, all followed by part-time compulsory service in the Worker-Peasant Red Guards until age 60. Both men and women serve in the armed forces.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

You've got a lot of statistics ...

by stress junkie In reply to Beware of the 'Sleeping G ...

... but you fail to make a point.

Collapse -

Remember when Iraq had the world's fourth largest armed force?

by DC_GUY In reply to You've got a lot of stati ...

And they couldn't even defeat Iran?

North Korea is doing to itself the same thing that the Soviet Bloc did to itself: Diverting far too large a chunk of its anemic GDP to military spending. As a result its people are on the verge of starvation and its infrastructure is collapsing; it's far worse off than the Soviet Union was in its darkest days.

The Russian people overthrew their tyrants for less cause. Kim Jong Il's days are numbered. Think public humiliation a la Nicolae Ceausescu.

All we have to worry about is whether Kim, who by some reports is already at least half crazy, will do something really crazy with those nuclear weapons when he realizes his days are numbered. It's unlikely that he could successfully deploy a mere six of them against a target hours away across the Pacific before they were intercepted. But he could target one of our East Asian allies.

Related Discussions

Related Forums