North Korea weapons aftermath

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, leader Kim Jong-Il adopted Songun or a military-first policy in order to strengthen the country and the government position. North Korea maintains one of the world's largest standing armies and militarism pervades everyday life. A total of 9,495,000 active, reserve and paramilitary personnel are currently enlisted in the army.

Standards of training, discipline and equipment in the force are considered to be low. North Korea is also a nuclear weapons state and has an active space program. The Korean People's Army operates a very large amount of equipment, including 4,060 tanks, 2,500 APCs, 17,900 artillery pieces, 11,000 air defense guns and some 10,000 MANPADS and anti-tank guided missiles in the Ground force.

There are at least 915 vessels in the Navy and 1,748 aircraft in the Air Force. North Korea also has the largest Special Forces in the world, as well as the largest submarine fleet. Despite the frightening numbers, most of the equipment originates from Cold War technology.

Famine and social rights issues
In the 1990s North Korea faced significant economic disruptions, including a series of natural disasters, economic mismanagement and serious resource shortages after the collapse of communism. The result was a shortage of staple grain, leading to famine which caused the numerous deaths.

The great death toll was most likely caused by famine related diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea rather than actual starvation. Aid agencies have estimated that up to two million people have died because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement.

The North Korea relies heavily on foreign aid to feed millions of its people. Positive trends show that in the 21st century, North Korea agricultural sector witnessed a sharp growth. Socially, there are still many issues. Radio and TV sets in North Korea are pre-tuned to government stations that pump out a steady stream of propaganda.

Press outlets and broadcasters are under direct state control, selectively reporting about Kim Jong-il success and his daily agenda. Nevertheless, reports of torture, public executions, slave labor, forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps have emerged. The state has been dubbed the world's worst violator of press freedom by the media rights organizations. In light of all the circumstances, it is quite understandable why North Korea weapons crisis is in the spotlight of the world media. Since militarism never brought good to anyone, hope remains that all those weapons will stay inactive.

Next: North Korea documentary on Youtube