Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New KPA


Since way back in the Before Time the world has been magically blessed with 2 Koreas - the yankee part is little more than a starving, slave trading underground rocket factory with an unfree, unfun new clear weaponized nation state attached led by the undying Dear Leader with Young General in the wings just in case.

As far as NoKo's Peoples Army goes - 1st glancers could be somewhat forgiven for thinking out loud that NoKo's conscript army is more like an uber artillery rich flea market of ancient Warsaw Pact  weaponry.

GsGf"s Nippon Def Force (Land Warfare) Officer and brainiac academ l'guerre shares a few choice observations about the new millenniumistic upgrade KPA and the diversification of military capabilities.
"KPA is more than a collection of Cold War military platforms. Aside from Mig-29s, the majority of platforms are models designed and produced during the 1960s or earlier. Ever since Pyongyang constructed its ideological stronghold on the Korean Peninsula,the North Korean gov has been ingrained with the belief that modernization isn’t so much about tech innovation, but innovation in the use of existing technology.
NoKo  has an overwhelming stock of upgraded Y-5 (the Chinese variant of the Antonov-2) transport aircraft fitted with stealth capabilities and KN-01 missiles. Against this backdrop, the modernization of the KPA doesn’t necessarily require major adjustments in investment or structural management. Instead, the process simply exploits existing conventional platforms by applying asymmetric capabilities.
Signs of North Korea realigning its conventional military capabilities have been there for at least the past two years. In January 2010, the KPA held its “Combined Maneuvers” military exercise, which involved the KPA’s ground, air and naval services. The fact that exercises of this nature have never been held (at least officially) since Kim Jong-il’s rise to power in 1992, hinted that the KPA is reconfiguring itself into something new. Following the “Combined Maneuvers” exercise, the KPA began to partially actualize its “new” capabilities by sinking the Cheonan, conducting several artillery drills near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), and the deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.
For North Korea, the military “provocations” of 2010 proved that the utilization of conventional platforms were just as, if not more, effective as strategic weapons for upsetting the U.S. alliance with the South. Not only did the attacks bewilder SoKo and Great Satan, but their response was delayed and ineffectual. There’s therefore good reason to believe that North Korea will continue to diversify its conventional military capabilities to seize its asymmetric edge over the SoKo/Great Satan alliance hook up.
  More extra alarming developments in the KPA this past year include

Structural developments: 
Despite technological weaknesses, NoKo’s knowledge-based technology seems to have advanced to the point where it’s capable of conducting DDoS and jamming attacks. Recent reports also claim that large-scale jamming facilities are currently under construction in areas near the demilitarized neutral zone (DMZ).
Increase in the activities of artillery/MLR (Multiple Launch Rocket) units in the coastal areas near the NLL with the Yeoneo (130t) and Saneo (300t) class submarines, and the recent testing of air-to-ship missiles with Ilyushin-28 Beagle (w/sev China copies H5 Hongzhaji) bombers.
In offensive terms, North Korea has qualitatively diversified its conventional military capabilities by increasing the number of options to further develop its asymmetric threat. In terms of defense, recent developments could be seen as being directed at strengthening its deterrence capabilities along the DMZ and NLL.
Biggest threat to South Korea – the increased efficiency and effectiveness in the mobilization of its special operations (SOF) troops. A recent South Korean Defense White Paper, for example, stated that North Korea has approximately 200,000 personnel designated as special operations forces, with roughly a quarter of them forward deployed along the DMZ. Successful coordination of cyber/electronic attacks and bombardment by artillery, meanwhile, would allow smoother infiltration by the KPA’s guerilla troops into South Korea.
KPA’s conventional forces still suffer from at least two weaknesses.
1st off - power projection capabilities – especially in the country’s air force. While the KPA has an abundant stock of air platforms, overall combat readiness is undermined not only by an aging inventory, but also because of the severe shortages of fuel. Even in emergencies, North Korean fighter jets have avoided engaging with South Korean F-15Ks. Kim Jong-il’s unsuccessful attempts at acquiring China’s J-10 fighter jets last May, meanwhile, highlights Pyongyang’s desire to remedy its inferiority in terms of airpower.

And the negative impact of the political process. As heir apparent Kim Jong-un rises up the ranks in the North Korean system, ideological discipline has been strengthened, while significant organizational changes have been taking place in both the KPA and the Workers Party of Korea (WPK). While this may bolster the North Korean leadership’s political security, it inevitably distracts the regime from addressing technical issues in the KPA. 

The complexity of the KPA highlights the ongoing problems with North Korea’s defense planning. In 1962, Kim Il-sung issued the sa dae gunsa roson (Four Grand Military Lines), which aimed to: modernize the entire KPA; establish a cadre-based military; ensure nationwide fortification; and arm all citizens. Ironically for North Korea, the very system designed to strengthen the KPA became the source of its defense planning failures simply because it was beyond the state’s capacity to cope with it. 

KPA’s diversifying capabilities are part of longstanding efforts by Pyongyang to achieve the Four Grand Military Lines aimed at compensating forNorth Korea’s shortcomings in the regional security balance. However, while North Korea may have been successful in strengthening its military leverage, it has fallen short of guaranteeing the regime’s security. North Korea’s realignment of its military capabilities also reflects the state’s shaky domestic foundations. 
What ev -  KPA’s diffusionary diversifying and sexing up military capabilities will prob never make NoKo totally Juchelicious - self reliant or a hot and fully crunk “strong and prosperous nation.” 

Yet it sure makes NoKo a potentially more deadly nation/state. 

 Pic - "Boom boom - like it like it"