NORTH KOREAN NAVY: An Atomic Threat?

By Bonner, Kit | Sea Classics, December 2009 | Go to article overview

NORTH KOREAN NAVY: An Atomic Threat?

Bonner, Kit, Sea Classics

Hardly a world-class sea power, is the DPRK, nevertheless, a threat that may try to forcefully reunite North and South Korea?


Defining the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) as a responsible nation among the powers of the world is stretching the definition of governing body to the breaking point. Since the creation of a North and South Korea shortly after the conclusion of World War H, the DPRK has become more of a regional warlord as well as an evil and destructive threat to the stability of Asia. To most social scientists, North Korea is a "Joseph Stalin Totalitarian Dictatorship" and officially among the few remaining Communist states, it is a "Communist State One-Man Dictatorship" with any and all power resting with the leader for life - Kim Jong-il. He rules based on the precepts of the previous leader and his father, President Kim ?-sung. In summary, the foundation of this state is the demonization of the United States, and preventing incursion by any foreign state by "diplomatic and economic self reliance." It is prudent to mention that North Korea has spent the majority of its gross national product (40%) on WWII-type military forces and attempted to feed its people from international aid much from the USA. It has also remained in a quasi time warp that dates back to the early 1950s. However, self reliance is not working as planned! The common citizen is literally starving on a reduced calorie intake (1200 calories per day) while the military has the primary choice of all food known as the policy of "military first."

The son of President Kim H-sung, Kim Jong-il has been designated as the "eternal ruler." It is uncertain as to which ruler has been the worst - father or son.

Unfortunately, the geographical layout of this country hinders any Naval power of note. Consequently, its Navy is confined to littoral combat and it does not possess any ship more powerful than obsolete destroyers and cast-off Chinese and Russian diesel-electric submarines. And like Adolph Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte, Kim Jong-il has relied on a massive (and somewhat obsolete) infantry and artillery force to defend his country. This is a mistake that every failed dictator has made since the days of the Greeks.


It began in 1905, when the Korean Peninsula was overrun by Japanese military forces. The occasion was the Russo-Japanese War which was settled by President Theodore Roosevelt in the City of Portsmouth. Yet, it was well known that the Imperial Japanese Navy secured victory at the Battle of Tsushima which in turn prompted the truce and desire by Russia to settle the conflict. The Russian Czar and his Navy had thoroughly been shamed in the eyes of the international Naval community. Japan had actually defeated the Russian military, and a truce was negotiated known as the Treaty of Portsmouth.

Korea was merely a side show at that time and a trading chip to assist in bringing the war to a climax.

Japan occupied the major cities and ports of Korea until the end of WWII, when the region was split into two nations - Republic of Korea (ROK), backed by the United Nations and the United States, and the DPRK, backed by the Soviet Union.

A massive attempt was made to reacquire the South by North Korea during the 1950-1953 Korean War or "Police Action." North Korea was aided by Red China and the Soviet Union attempted to overcome the United Nations in South Korea, and the lack of a competent Naval force contributed to the overall failure. This war was also one to test the strength and resolve of the United Nations, and the International Communist Union soon found out that overoeming the UN would not be as easy as originally planned.

In 1953, a truce was negotiated with a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two countries.

Since the truce that again separated the two countries, South Korea has prospered beyond all dreams, and North Korea has followed the same path as all other failed Marxist-Communist regimes - starvation of the people and a large number of reasonably well-fed men under arms.

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