Nonaligned, Third World, and Other Ground Armies: A Combat Assessment

By Colonel Reuven Gal; Richard A. Gabriel | Go to book overview

North Korea

Larry Niksch

North Korea is an enigma to the outside observer. It has remained a closed society since its founding, and it may be the most regimented country in the world today. Few non-Koreans are allowed into North Korea, and the majority of those are from other Communist countries. The regime closely controls the activities of visitors, and they seldom have contact with the armed forces. It does not permit its own citizens to engage in original or objective research and writing on the armed forces. Thus, information on the North Korean Army is sparse, and original research is difficult. Much of the recent data has come from U.S. intelligence sources who did extensive data collection and evaluation in the late 1970s. This chapter is based in part on this research, which is generally accepted as credible.


Historical Overview

Formation of the North Korean Army

According to the North Korean regime and Communist party, the origins of the North Korean Army--or the Korean People's Army (KPA) as it is officially designated--lay in the activities of Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla forces in Manchuria in the 1930s led by Kim Il Sung, North Korea's present leader. The real origins, however, grew out of the policies of the Soviet Union after the Red Army occupied the northern part of Korea in 1945. The Soviets quickly began to form an indigenous Korean Communist regime under Kim Il Sung and other Korean Communists who had been trained in the USSR during World War II and had entered Korea with Russian forces in September 1945. The Soviets helped to set up public

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The views expressed in this chapter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress.

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Nonaligned, Third World, and Other Ground Armies: A Combat Assessment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps, Figures, and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • India and Pakistan 3
  • Bibliography 26
  • China 29
  • Bibliography 53
  • Vietnam 55
  • Notes 74
  • Notes 76
  • Thailand 79
  • Notes 97
  • Bibliography 100
  • North Korea 103
  • Notes 124
  • Notes 125
  • South Korea 127
  • Bibliography 150
  • Japan 153
  • Bibliography 172
  • Australia 177
  • Note 190
  • Bibliography 190
  • Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) 191
  • Bibliography 207
  • South Africa 209
  • Notes 221
  • Notes 222
  • Cuba 225
  • Notes 241
  • Notes 243
  • Yugoslavia 247
  • Notes 259
  • Notes 261
  • Index 263
  • About the Contributors 275
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