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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 10, 1967

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    A Hungarian report on the state of the Korean People's Army and the South Korean Army.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," March 10, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1967, 60. doboz, 40, 002128/1967. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110620
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Comrade [Károly] Fendler recently informed Colonel Latyshev, a subordinate of the Soviet military attaché, about the contacts between the Hungarian and Korean People's Armies. Then, at our request, Comrade Latyshev gave the following information about the organizational structure, manpower, and armament of the Korean People's Army:


[…]

According to Soviet estimates, the manpower of the People's Army is approx. 500,000-550,000, of which the land army numbers 400,000, the air force and air defense 45,000, and the navy 17,000. The manpower of the armed police and the troops of the Ministry of Public Security is approx. 100,000. (The USA and South Korea estimate the manpower of the Korean People's Army at approx. 300,000-350,000.)


[…]


Military equipment:
tanks and assault guns 670
field guns 3,500
mortars, approx. 4,000
antitank guns 2,000
missile launchers 75
airplanes 336
of which fighter planes 250
bombers 50
military vessels 160


[…]

Until about 1966, the DPRK's military concept was based on the experiences gained in the anti-Japanese guerrilla struggles of the 1930s and the Patriotic War of 1950-53. Their views were influenced by the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare; they followed primarily Chinese military views. They did not study missiles, nuclear weapons, or the experiences of other armies.

In 1966 they started to study the experiences gained by the armies of the fraternal countries, primarily the Soviet Army. They introduced the study of military experiences involving missiles and nuclear weapons, under the circumstances of both offensive and defensive struggles.

[…]

The manpower of the South Korean troops is approx. 700,000, of which the manpower of the land army is 660,000, the manpower of the air force and air defense is 30,000, and that of the navy is 17,000.


[…]


tanks and assault guns 800
field guns, approx. 2,000
mortars, approx. 4,000
antitank guns 8,000
fighter planes,  approx. 230
bombers 40
transport planes and helicopters 200
military vessels 40
missile launchers 84
The 8th U.S. Army, whose manpower is 60,000, is also stationed in South Korea.


[…] 

In conclusion, Comrade Latyshev remarked that none of the two sides had yet reached the stage of complete preparedness, but both were intensely preparing. He also mentioned that the DPRK manufactured carbines, submachine guns, machine guns, mortars, and certain light arms by itself. They have a few small-scale service stations. […]

István Kádas (ambassador)