North Korea’s military equipment looks more like it belongs to a 1970s Soviet army than a modern force — but the country’s massive forces could still be a deadly force.
The country’s missile development and huge stocks of artillery are particularly threatening to South Korea and the rest of the world.
The US Pentagon’s most recent report on the state of the North Korean military sizes up the ground forces, navy, and air force.
It’s one of the world’s most secretive countries, so the information largely comes from other sources. But the state’s propaganda efforts mean there are plenty of pictures of the country’s colossal military capacity.
The largest part of the military is the Korean People's Army Ground Force, which includes around 1 million active personnel, and millions more civilians who are effectively reservists.
North Korea's ground forces are numerous but mostly equipped with out-of-date Soviet era small arms, or North Korean and Chinese-made copies.
The air force has some semi-modern fighter jets, like the MiG-29, which was built in the later years of the Soviet Union, but most of its air force is made up of 'less capable' jets and even biplanes.
North Korea's elderly air force would be easily outmatched by South Korea's, and the most threatening equipment belongs to other parts of the military.
One of the most threatening things in the North's arsenal is its powerful conventional artillery, with hundreds of these 170mm Koksan guns threatening South Korea.
Even more worryingly, some systems have the capacity to hit Seoul, the south's capital, like the 240mm multiple rocket launchers pictured.
And those are actually small in comparison to some of the massive fixed guns in place to fire on South Korean islands in the event that a conflict breaks out.
Despite being 'unsophisticated' and ageing, North Korea has one of the world's biggest submarine forces. A small submarine sank a South Korean ship in 2010, killing 46 seamen.
North Korea's navy is the smallest of its military branches, and the non-submarine part is mostly made up of 'ageing, though numerous, small patrol craft' according to the Pentagon.
The launch of satellite-carrying Unha rockets is watched closely, since it's the same delivery system as North Korea's Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, which was tested successfully in December 2012.
Though the equipment is outdated, North Korea does possess some armoured vehicles which are largely copies of Soviet or Chinese-made models.
In addition to its long-range missiles and nuclear programme, North Korea has a line of shorter-range Hwasong missiles capable of hitting Japan.
Despite being developed more than 20 years ago, Pokpung-ho battle tanks pictured on the left here are some of the most advanced equipment operated by the ground forces.
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