The KPA: Troops & Equipment
With over 65% of its troops located below the Pyongyang-Wonsan axis, North Koreans can launch a surprise attack without rearrangement or adjustment of its frontline troops.
North Korea possesses a total of 996,000 ground forces in twenty corps units (12 infantry, 4 mechanized, 2 artillery) plus a light special forces command, which oversees special warfare units.
Its heavy equipment consists of 3800 tanks (T-55, T-62, T-72, light tanks), 2270 armored personnel carriers, and 11200 pieces of field artillery, with a major percentage self-propelled for purposes of speedy artillery support. The units are geared for mechanized warfare reminiscent of the Nazi blitzkrieg.
Last but not least, 100,000 special forces troopers stand ready to engage in sabotage behind the lines, sowing confusion and turning the whole ROK into a battlefield.
The DPRK Navy is divided into East Sea (10 squadrons) and West Sea fleets (6 squadrons) with a total manpower of 48,000.
North Korea's fleet consist of approximately 430 combat vessels (Patrol craft, guided missile boats, torpedo boats, fire support craft), 40 submarines (15 midgets), and 340 support craft (landing craft, hovercraft). As with the ground forces, 60% of the vessels are stationed near the demarcation line.
North Korea has constructed and is operating up to 130 hovercraft, each one capable of transporting a special forces platoon and operating freely in difficult terrain such as tidal flats, and able to be used for multiple landings by special forces troops at the onset of the war.
The air force has a total of six divisions (103,000); 3 for combat (fighter/bomber regiments), 2 for transport and helicopter, and one devoted exclusively for training.
Most of the 1670 aircraft are obsolete, with only sixty modern aircraft (MiG-23, 29). The mainstays consist of 470 old Soviet aircraft (MiG-19, MiG-21, IL-28, SU-7, SU-25) and 320 of ancient type (MiG-15, MiG-17). But it does possess a whopping 820 support aircraft and helicopters.
The aircraft that causes the most concern is the 300 AN-2, flying at 100 mph at low altitudes, that makes detection by radar very difficult, and its transport of special forces troopers deep behind the lines is a very definite threat.