October 20, 2006:
North Korea is feeling the strain of maintaining one of the largest military establishments in the world (some one million active forces, plus 600,000 reservists, plus an enormous number of people in the militia.) So Kim Jong-il and his henchmen have agreed to downsize the force. As many as 20-percent of the 40 reserve divisions may be disbanded in the near future, and troops and equipment redistributed. This reorganization is also intended to deal with the deterioration of weapons and equipment over the last decade, due to lack of use, and resources for maintenance. With fewer weapons to maintain, the limited resources can be applied to keeping more stuff combat ready. While South Korea adds new weapons and gear each year, North Korean troops get hardly anything, and their aging weapons get older, and less reliable. So the troops will concentrate even more on training that is cheap (infantry exercises). There is very little target practice, because ammo is expensive, and even less mechanized training, because of the cost of fuel and spare parts. North Korea is dying, and the armed forces are fading away as well.