North Korean special forces troops number 200,000

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North Korea has bolstered its ranks of special forces troops to around 200,000.

This is likely the largest such force in the world, and it consists of both men and women who are trained in unconventional warfare tactics.

The force is the backbone of the North Korean army, experts have said, because conventional forces have suffered from obsolescence for decades. Much of the North’s armored and mechanized force, for example, still utilizes 1960s and 1970s-era Soviet equipment and tanks.

As such, Pyongyang has invested more in its large unconventional force.

The country maintains twenty-five special-forces and special-purpose brigades, and five special-forces battalions, designed to undertake missions from frontline DMZ assault to parachute and assassination missions.

Of the 200,000, approximately 150,000 belong to light infantry units whose mission is to penetrate or flank enemy formations and envelope them from the rear.

In the event of war, North Korea would likely launch dozens of separate attacks throughout South Korea, from the DMZ to the southern port of Busan, using these forces. [source]

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