|Percent of GDP|| 22.9% (2003 est.) |
koreanname|context=north|title=Korean name|color=#8888dd|hangul=조선인민군|hanja=朝鮮人民軍|rr=Joseon inmin-gun|mr=Chosŏn
Korean People's Army refers to the armed personnel of the military of North Korea. Its official foundation day is February 8, 1948. It also seemingly posesses the largest reserve force in the world standing at 4,700,000 albeit that it also posesses the largest amount of Active troops per thousand citizens standing at 49.03.
The Korean People's Army was formed from a cadre of guerrillas and former Korean soldiers in the service of the Soviet Union and Mao's Chinese Eighth Route Army who had gained combat experience in battles against Japanese and later Nationalist Chinese troops. One of the guerrilla leaders was Kim Il-sung, who commandeered a group of 300 Korean irregular troops operating in Manchuria.
After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Kim constructed a large Korean People's army skilled in infiltration tactics and guerrilla warfare as well as standard Soviet infantry tactics. Before the outbreak of the Korean War, Joseph Stalin equipped the NKPA with modern heavy tanks, trucks, artillery, and small arms (at the time, the South Korean Army had nothing remotely comparable either in numbers of troops or equipment). The NKPA was the primary instigator of the Korean War (called the "Fatherland Liberation War" in the North).
During the opening phases of the Korean War in 1950, the NKPA quickly drove South Korean forces south and captured Seoul, only to lose 70,000 of their 100,000-strong army in the fall after U.S. amphibious landings at the Battle of Inchon and a subsequent drive to the Yalu River. The NKPA subsequently played a secondary role to Chinese forces in the remainder of the conflict. By the time of the Armistice in 1953, the NKPA had 290,000 casualties and 90,000 POWs. There were also a large number of civilian deaths in the northern part of Korea, but no accurate figures are available.
In 1953, the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) was created to oversee and enforce the terms of the armistice. The Neutral Nation Supervisory Committee (NNSC), originally made up of delegations from Poland and Czechoslovakia on the North Korean-Chinese People's Volunteers side, and Sweden and Switzerland on the United Nations side, monitored the activities of the MAC.
The NKPA today
According to western estimates, North Korea has the fifth-largest military in the world
[cite web | title=Defiant N. Korea brags it has nukes |publisher=GlobalSecurity.org | year=February 11, 2005 | url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2005/050211-korea-nukes.htm | accessdate=September 15 | ], with the largest percentage of citizens enlisted (49.03 active troops per thousand citizens). The North has an estimated 1.08 million armed personnel, compared to about 686,000 South Korean troops, plus 32,500 US troops in South Korea(U.P.I. Mar 13,2006). Military spending is estimated at 20%-25% of GNP, which would mean that the DPRK spends the largest proportion of its GNP on its military in the world. Roughly 20% of North Korean men between the ages of 17 and 54 serve in the regular armed forces. As a result, DPRK forces are thought to have a substantial numerical advantage over the South (as high as 3 to 1) in several key categories of offensive weapons like tanks, long-range artillery, and Armoured personnel carriers. However, despite this numerical superiority, much of North Korea's land arsenal is considerably inferior when compared with the South's more modern and capable weapons systems. The army remains largely an infantry force with (as of 1996) 3,800 tanks, mostly old-model Soviet tanks [ cite web | title=Globalsecurity - DPRK Army | url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/army.htm ]. South Korea is also engaged in a military alliance with the United States for protection, with several units of the United States armed forces stationed in South Korea.
The North has perhaps the world's second-largest special operations force (55,000), designed for insertion behind enemy lines in wartime. While the North has a relatively impressive fleet of submarines (especially small submarines for infiltrating South Korean waters), its submarines are old Russian purchases such as Golf and Romeo class submarines, hardly comparable to modern submarines. Its surface fleet has a very limited capability. Its air force has twice the number of aircraft as the South, but except for a few advanced fighters (about 20 MiG-29s), the North's air force is obsolete. The North, like the South, deploys the bulk of its forces well forward, within 100 miles of the Korean DMZ, to include 700,000 troops, 8,000 artillery systems, and 2,000 tanks. Several North Korean military tunnels under the DMZ were discovered in the 1970's, including the famous Third Tunnel of Aggression.
North Korea is technically still at war with South Korea. In recent years, North Korea has sought to dismantle the MAC in a push for a new peace mechanism on the peninsula. In April 1994, it declared the MAC void and withdrew its representatives. Prior to this, it had effectively ended the functions of the NNSC.
Over the last several years, the North has allegedly moved more of its rear-echelon troops to hardened bunkers near the DMZ. Given the proximity of Seoul to the DMZ (some 25 miles or 40 km), South Korean and United States forces are likely to have little warning of any attack. The United States and South Korea continue to state that the U.S. troop presence remains an effective deterrent.
* Korean People's Army
** North Korea Ground Force
** North Korean Naval Force
** North Korean Air Force
* Civil Security Forces
* Comparative military ranks of Korea
* North Korea
* North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
* Korean Demilitarized Zone
* List of Korea-related topics
* Military of South Korea
* North Korean Arms Industry
*https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/kn.html CIA World Factbook
sl:Korejska ljudska armada
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wiktionary article "North Korean" . It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Korean People's Army" .