Korean People's Army

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(2010)

The Korean People's Army (KPA), also known as the Inmin Gun, comprises the military forces of North Korea. Kim Jong-il is the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and Chairman of the National Defence Commission. The KPA has five branches: the (i) Army Ground Force, (ii) the Navy, (iii) the Air Force, (iv) the Artillery Guidance Bureau, and (v) the Special Operation Force.

The KPA's annual budget is US$6 billion. The US research organization ISIS reports that the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) might possess fissile material for some 2 to 9 nuclear weapons.[3] North Korea’s Songun “Military First” policy elevates the KPA to the primary position in the Government and society.

In 1978, Kim Il-sung directed that "Military Foundation Day" be changed from 8 February to 25 April, the nominal day of establishment of his anti-Japanese guerrilla army in 1932, to recognize the supposedly indigenous Korean origins of the KPA and obscure its Soviet origin.[1] An active arms industry had been developed to produce long-range missiles such as the Nodong-1.

North Korea is the most militarized country in the world today,[4] having the fourth largest army in the world, at about 1,106,000 armed personnel, with about 20% of men ages 17–54 in the regular armed forces.[5] It also has a reserve force comprising 8,200,000 personnel. It operates an enormous network of military facilities scattered around the country, a large weapons production basis, a dense air defense system, the third largest chemical weapons stockpile in the world,[6] and includes the largest Special Forces contingent (numbering 180,000 men).[7]

The KPA faces the Military of South Korea and United States Forces Korea across the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as it has since the Armistice Agreement of 1953.

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