The north korean army is one of the largest of the world. It’s hard to imagine that military service in north korea is more than a short step in a north korean citizen life, but lasts more than 10 years!
Yet, in a country where poverty and famine are everywhere, the military service has been seen for a long time as a safe place for young men who can also access in this way to higher social positions. The Korean People’s Army (KPA) is however no longer as powerful and dangerous as it has been in the last decades. The navy never really constituted a serious threat to occidental ships, the airforce is composed of outdated planes that are stucked on the ground due to oil shortage and finally the ground army didn’t really change its equipments in the last 30 years.
If north korean and south korean were used to be the same people 70 years ago, things changed radically since the war. Physically, north korean appear today smaller, thiner and in poor health compared to their southern neighbors. Even soldiers seem always been too small for their uniforms.
The picture above shows however a different image. Yound and beautiful military women (medical personnal and musicians), parading in the street of PyongYang for the anniversary of the regime. Pyongyang has always been the city where north korea tried to show the best of what the regime can offer. Nevertheless, the countless smiling soldiers who paraded that day seem to forget that they are now part of an army which is stucked in the 1970s and is facing highly developed ennemies.