North Korea ranked fourth in terms of scale of military force in the world after China, India, and the United States. However, military experts point out that the number of soldiers and actual combat power are separate.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Jan. 9 that World Atlas, which provides world maps and statistics for each region, announced the number and ranking of soldiers from around the world on Jan. 7 (local time).
According to the results of a survey on the size of troops in each country, North Korea has 1.2 million troops, ranking fourth after China (2 million), India (1.45 million), and the United States (1.39 million). South Korea ranked eighth in the world with 555,000 troops.
World Atlas said that nearly 30% of the North Korean population is in their armed forces, giving them the 4th largest military in the world. However, sheer numbers are not enough to grant them a top ten position, thus, they are 30th in terms of strength between Algeria and Thailand.
It said, “Ruled by an oppressive and isolationist regime, North Korea's economic struggles alongside mass poverty have resulted in significant famines over the past several decades. The nation sits between South Korea, its long-term rival, and China, which has a vested interest in tolerating North Korea’s presence.
“In the media, it is common for North Korea to announce its plans to attack western powers. In addition, dangerous missile tests have endangered the Japanese mainland, although a direct strike has not yet occurred.”