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North Korea Table of Contents

North Korea


Armed Forces: Armed forces known collectively as Korean People's Army (KPA); total about 1.13 million 1993. Components (army, approximately 1 million; navy, 40,000 to 60,000; and air force, 70,000 to 92,000) under direction and control of President Kim Il Sung, generalissimo and grand marshal, with political controls parallel to party lines. Kim Jong Il commander in chief. Special operations forces, 60,000 to 100,000. KWP Military Affairs Committee and state National Defense Commission hold coordinated authority of armed forces. Marshal Kim Jong Il supreme commander of the army and chairman of National Defense Commission, as of April 1993. Heavily militarized state; fifth largest population under arms. Active military structure supported by reserves (army, 500,000; air force, unknown; and navy, 40,000) and militia of Worker-Peasant Red Guards and Red Guard Youth numbering over 3.8 million. Estimated 20 to 25 percent of GNP in 1991 for defense expenditures, although officially announced figure was 6 percent; 11.4 percent in 1992; and 11.6 percent in 1993. Conscription ages twenty to twentyfive , with three years for army service and four years for navy and air force service (other sources cite five to eight years for army service and three to four years for navy and air force service). All soldiers serve in reserves--estimated at 1.2 million in 1993--up to age forty, Worker-Peasant Red Guards to age sixty, Red Guard Youth, and College Training Units.

Paramilitary Forces: Under Ministry of Public Security, 115,000 personnel, including Border Guards.

Police and Internal Security: Internal security and maintenance of law and order centered in Ministry of Public Security and State Security Department, two government organs controlled by KWP through Justice and Security Commission and penetration of party apparatus at all levels. Ministry of Public Security responsible for internal security, social control, and basic police duties; estimated 144,000 personnel in 1991. Public security bureaus in each province, county, city, and some city substations; each village has police force. Conventional and secret police apparatus tightly controlled by KWP. Movement also controlled.

Data as of June 1993