The special operations branch of the Korean People’s Army is reported to comprise 200,000 soldiers, 60,000 specialized troops and 140,000 light infantry soldiers, according to the Seoul-based Chosun Ilbo.
General Walter Sharp, the former commander of the South Korean-US Combined Forces Command stated that the infantry soldiers are lightly armed and trained to infiltrate deep behind enemy lines to destroy key installations and engage in black ops.
Specialized troops could infiltrate South Korea on foot or through underground tunnels, General Sharp said. They are also able to land at major ports in the South with 130 hovercraft and 260 landing vessels. The North Korean air force’s 170 aging but operable low-flying AN-2 transport planes introduced from Russia and 130 helicopters can also be mobilized to deploy airborne troops as well.
The United States only has about 50,000 soldiers in its special forces, while South Korea has fewer than 20,000.
“The havoc-raising potential of North Korea’s special forces has grown as their numbers have increased and their training has shifted to terrorist tactics developed by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan,” General Sharp told the Washington Post. “They are very capable, and they will employ these tactics.”
All members of North Korean special forces have been die-hard Kim family loyalists since the establishment of the unit, Sharp said, adding that to avoid capture when they are defeated, all soldiers are ordered to kill themselves.
[Source: Want China Times]