See Also: Korean War, Division of Korea,
Second Korean War
The 38th Parallel was for a time the possible source of conflict between the two Koreas and proxy conflict between the communists and the West throughout the remainder of the Cold War. The DPRK entered World War III after China declared war on the United States and its allies, taking advantage of the situation and opening a new front: The Second Korean War. However, this served as the nation's downfall as its initial success in capturing Seoul was turned against them when the Allies had the upper hand.
Pyongyang was the site of the bloodiest battles of the war as the KPA troops engaged the Allies in a house-to-house fighting. Eventually, the city fell and Kim-Il Sung was captured by ROK troops. He would later be executed publicly for his crimes against humanity.
It took a two years for the situation to finally stabilize in Korea. During this time, moderate former North Korean generals were discussing reunification talks with the South. These talks resulted in the finalization of the reunification process. The two Koreas finally united in 1993 under the Republic of Korea. For the first time, families separated since the Korean War of 1950-1953 were able to reunite once again. In addition, South Korea's economic prosperity spread to the former North, enabling North Korean citizens to have new jobs and new opportunities in their daily lives.
- Korean People's Army Ground Forces
- Korean People's Army Navy
- Korean People's Army Air Force
- North Korean Special Operation Force
- Worker-Peasant Red Guards
The KPA utilized a wide array of Soviet and Chinese equipment, notably small arms, anti-tank howitzers, anti-aircraft guns and batteries, ships, patrol boats, fighter jets, helicopters, and submarines. Occasionally, it received some Western-made equipment from third party countries such as Iran and Libya.
While it had an advantage over the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the U.S. military in terms of numbers, its outdated equipment was no match for the more advanced ROK, US, and allied military hardware.
Upon reunification, the ROK Armed Forces took over the KPA Arsenal and placed these old equipment on reserve.