How Powerful Is North Korea?

North Korea has the 5th largest active army in the world and a history of an erratic and aggressive behaviour that includes February and March 2016 when they threatened to attack the US with nuclear force. So how seriously should we take such threat? How powerful is North Korea?

As we said, North Korea has the 5th most powerful artillery in the world that should not be taken lightly. They also have a huge number of armaments, an estimated 13,000 guns along the border with South Korea alone. If they were to attack South Korea or any other nearby nation, they could inflict an enormous amount of damage in a very short time. They could also potentially overwhelm these nations with sheer manpower. In addition to the 690,000 to 1.1 active troops, North Korea is rumoured to have; they may also have between 4.1 and up to 7.7 million soldiers in reserve. So yes, they are a legitimate threat. But only to the immediate surrounding nations and only for a short period of time.

korea army

North Korea’s air force and navy are extremely outdated and underused. According to experts, they don’t often have the fuel to keep all of their planes operational, and consequently, a lot of their pilots have little to no experience actually flying. They have a large navy, but it is the same problem there: outdated technology and not enough fuel.


A prominent response by a better-equipped nation such as the US would swiftly outdo North Korea’s marine forces. Some even speculate that with or without a war, the current North Korean leadership may not last. They are constantly rumoured of impending collapse or revolt. The central government is widely perceived as being extremely corrupt, draconian, and mismanaged. The gap between the people and their leaders is wide. Such a situation often ends in a revolt and collapse.

north korea government

North Korea is a threat, like a bomb or a gun is a threat, but they aren’t a great threat that a superpower would be or even a terrorist group could be, because North Korea is an isolated nation that does not export harmful ideals like IS now or the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This leaves us only one topic left to discuss which is North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. Do they have the bomb? No, they do not have the bomb. They have the materials to make a bomb but they are currently unable to arm a warhead with those materials despite the latest rocket launch. So, as for now, they cannot launch a nuclear strike. They can simply talk about it, which isn’t particularly threatening.

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