National Security

North Korea: A Country Study, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-8444-1188-0

57 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2018

See all articles by James M. Minnich

James M. Minnich

Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Date Written: January 1, 2008


As the world's most militarized state in proportion to population, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) fields a massive combat force that ranks fourth in size behind the armed forces of China, the United States, and India. North Korea’s major forward deployment of armed forces near the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula puts it in a confrontational relationship with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the United States, as one of the final legacies of the Cold War. The division of Korea originated as a consequence of a territorial partition that was imposed by the United States and the former Soviet Union to facilitate the surrender of Japanese forces at the end of World War II. Agreeing to divide the Korean Peninsula into dual occupation zones at the thirty-eighth parallel, the former Soviet Union occupied the north and the United States the south in what was intended as a temporary division. Instead, antithetical political systems were established and opposing armed forces established in the two areas; all efforts subsequently to reunify the two states have failed.

Keywords: North Korea, DPRK, national security, military, Korean People's Army, KPA

Suggested Citation

Minnich, James M., National Security (January 1, 2008). North Korea: A Country Study, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-8444-1188-0, Available at SSRN:

James M. Minnich (Contact Author)

Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies ( email )

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