Each military power detailed on GlobalFirepower.com is judged on individual as well as collective factors when it comes to waging a prolonged campaign against another. The numbers are calculated through our in-house formula to produce the PwrIndx (PowerIndex) value which is used in the final ranking. Note that some values are estimated when official numbers are not available. ©2006- www.GlobalFirepower.com. No reproduction of this content is permitted.
23 North Korea (NKO)North Korea is currently ranked 23 (of 133) countries considered for the annual GFP review. It maintains a PwrIndx rating of 0.4218. (0.0000 being perfect)
Manpower - Going beyond military equipment totals and perceived fighting strength is the actual manpower that drives a given military force. Wars of attrition traditionally favor those with more manpower to a given effort.
Reaching Military Age415,000
Total Military Personnel
- Includes both fixed-wing
and rotary-wing (helicopter)
aircraft from all branches of service (Air Force, Navy, Army). Air power is just one important component of the modern military force. Attack Aircraft represents fixed-wing and dedicated forms as well as light strike types (some basic and advanced trainers fill this role). Some fighters can double as attack types and vice versa - this is how multi-role aircraft can be of considerable value. Transport and Trainer aircraft include both fixed-wing and rotary-wing types. EXTERNAL LINK: Aircraft throughout the military history of North Korea
- Tank value includes Main Battle Tanks (MBTs)
and light tanks (a few remain in service) as well as those vehicles considered "tank destroyers". There is no distinction made between all-wheel and track-and-wheel designs. Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) value includes Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs)
as well as Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). EXTERNAL LINK: Armor and Artillery throughout the military history of North Korea
- Aircraft Carrier
value includes both traditional aircraft carriers as well as "helicopter carrier" warships (the latter growing in popularity worldwide). Cruisers are no longer tracked due to their declining value on the world stage. Submarines value includes both diesel-electric and nuclear-powered types. Total Naval Assets is not simply a sum of the presented navy ship categories - instead it includes all showcased types along with any known / recognized auxiliary vessels (not tracked individually by this site). EXTERNAL LINK: Warships and Submarines throughout the military history of North Korea
Natural Resources (Petroleum) - As much as any weapon system is vital to an ongoing military campaign, wars still rely on the availability of natural resources, namely petroluem (oil). BBL/DY = Barrels Per Day.
Logistics - War is as much a battle of logistics, moving man and machine from-to points all over, as it is direct combat. A quantitative/robust Labor Force also adds to available wartime industry.
Finance - War goes beyond simple physical "strength-in-numbers", relying heavily on financing and effort as much as any one piece of hardware fielded. All values presented in USD ($).
Foreign Exchange / Gold$6,000,000,000
Purchasing Power Parity$40,000,000,000
Geography - Geographical values primarily figure into a defensive-minded war (i.e. invasion) but can also aid a nation when responding to such an act.
Sources: CIA.gov, CIA World Factbook, wikipedia.com, public domain print and media sources and user contributions. Some values may be estimated when official sources are lacking.
The values showcased above are all considered for the final GFP ranking recognized as the "Power Index" (abbrv: "PwrIndx"). PwrIndx scores are judged against a perfect value of "0.0000" which is realistically unattainable due to the number of factors considered per country. Balance is the key - a large, strong fighting force across land, sea and air backed by a resilient economy and defensible territory along with an efficient infrastructure - such qualities are those used to round out a particular nation's total fighting strength on paper; it is not enough to field 10 million men or 20,000 tanks or lead the world in oil production.
Each nation's final ranking also carries with it bonuses and penalties as needed while landlocked countries (ex: Austria) are not penalized for lack of a standing navy - though they do suffer a penalty for not maintaining a viable merchant marine force.
It bears repeating that nuclear weapons are NOT taken into account for this listing. Powers are based on conventional weaponry in inventory as well as other factors such as economic strength, border size, self-sustainability (in regards to wartime resources such as oil), water access etc...