The Buzz

North Korea's Army: 1.1 Million Strong (And They Have Lots of Guns)

North Korea’s light infantry and special forces are taking on increasing importance as the country’s aging mechanized units, starved for technology and fuel, are likely becoming less relevant to the country’s war plans. The guns of the KPA Ground Forces help ensure North Korean sniper, airborne, and marine infantry units remain operationally relevant now and into the near future. Whether this impoverished country with an economy smaller than Panama’s can arm their infantrymen as well as their American and South Korean counterparts, while simultaneously affording an expanding nuclear arsenal is another question.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009, he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Image: Reuters.