Special North Korean Military Investigation Reveals Combat Reserve Supply Shortages

Special North Korean Military Investigation Reveals Combat Reserve Supply Shortages

Officers could be punished for authorizing the use of stockpiled food, fuel, and medicine.

Andrew H. Sweet
Andrew H. Sweet

A North Korean investigation into military combat reserve supplies has revealed shoddy maintenance and discrepancies between inventory records and actual supplies of food, fuel, and medicine, sources in the military told RFA.

According to the source, the inspection is underway simultaneously in all branches of the military and all units.

North Korea’s total military personnel of 1.47 million in 2018 ranked it third globally that year, behind only China and India. The country remains technically at war with South Korea and its ally, the United States.

The ministry and the staff department inspect units of corps level or above twice per year and three times per year for divisions and brigades, and once per quarter for units of the regiment level or lower.

According to 2019 data from the CIA World Factbook, North Korea spent between 22 and 24 percent of its GDP, or roughly U.S. $3.7 billion to $4.2 billion each year between 2007 and 2017.

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