For more than fifty years, the combined armed forces of the United States and the Republic of Korea have faced down the North Korean People's Army (NKPA) along the world's most militarized stretch of land known as the demilitarized zone. Despite the prolonged standoff, much remains unknown about the world's third largest army. In this authoritative study, James M. Minnich blends academic knowledge with nearly twenty-five years of military experience to explain the NKPA's origins, military ideology, strategy, combat formations, and tactics to ensure a full understanding of this reclusive belligerent.
At the outset, Minnich examines the first crucial years of the North Korean state and its army. Solidly grounded in primary sources and buttressed by the judicious use of secondary sources, his work traces the formative elements of the Korean partisans, Soviet Army, and Chinese communists to show how each group contributed to the NKPA's development and its ability to mount the first shooting campaign of the Cold War. This timely book then presents a vitally relevant examination of the NKPA's current military tactics, including its seven forms of offensive maneuver, two forms of defense, and tactical artillery groupings. Required reading for military planners and personnel who must remain prepared to rapidly deploy to Korea, this concise profile will also appeal to students of Korean history and those seeking a deeper understanding of the NKPA.