North Korea Well Positioned for War: Report
Pyongyang would have advantage in early days of conflict with South Korea
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2012 11:54 AM CST
North Korean soldiers salute on tanks during a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, Oct. 10, 2010.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

(Newser) – North Korea’s offensive-minded military strategy is in some ways superior to South Korea’s defensive-minded one, and would give it an edge in the early days of an all-out war, a Korean-based think tank concludes in a new report. With 1.2 million military personnel and a record number of tanks, warships, and artillery, “the depressing reality is it would not be entirely wrong to say North Korea’s military strength is stronger,” the Korean Economic Research Institute’s report says.

The South has just 700,000 people in its military, plus 28,000 US support troops, but analysts tell Reuters that it would surely eventually win such a conflict because its weapons and equipment are far superior to the North’s aging arsenal. But the North might have an early edge, and to combat that, the report recommends Seoul aggressively respond to any act of aggression as though it were “a precursor to a full-out war … even if it is a small-scale regional guerilla war.”