BMI View: After the accession of Kim Jong-Un as North Korean ruler, the reform of the country's 'militaryfirst' policy has become apparent. Even though the Korean Peope's Army (KPA) is a weakened force - thatsuffers from logistical shortages, ageing equipment, and inadequate training - and the country is sufferingfrom a tough domestic economic climate, we expect North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and longrangeballistic missiles to continue. However, due to planned economic reforms, defence spending may bepartly sacrificed. Reliable data about North Korean spending and resources are difficult to obtain, but itsstrengths are clearly in a vast infantry machine rather than in high tech capabilities it will consequentlylook to import.
In 2016, North Korea will remain a formidable military threat to its neighbours due to its massive 1.1mnstrong conventional armed forces and its weapons of mass destruction, which include nuclear weapons.
Defence spending is estimated to increase by 3.0% in 2015, which is at a slower growth rate than the 5.7%increase in 2014. In 2016 however, we forecast North Korea to increase its defence spending by 7.8%, asignificant acceleration from 2015.
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