December 07, 2023

North Korea’s million man army: potential mercenary force?

Could KPA be used on large scale in Syria, small scale elsewhere as money-maker for North?

North Korea’s Korean People’s Army is one of the largest standing military forces in the world, believed to have more than 1 million active duty personnel. As a relatively isolated regime in need of money and resources, North Korea’s large military may be something Pyongyang has to offer to those willing to pay or otherwise support them.

North Korea could – and has in the past – provide small-scale support to friendly countries through military deployments, training and advice, and provisions of weapons and supplies. Another option, though, could be for North Korea to conduct a large-scale deployment in support of an ally in greater need, such as Syria.