Munitions Industry

    North Korea initiated a program of [developing the economy and the military simultaneously] in accordance with the 'total mobilization' tenet of the [Four Militarizations] plan adopted in 1962.

    Summarizing directives from the elder and junior Kim and observing the development of the North Korean industry would lead one to summarize the purpose of the development as follows:

      1. Self-sufficiency in military hardware.
      2. Development of newer and better weapons.
      3. Strategic positioning of munitions facilities.
      4. Subterranean protection for industry.
      5. Preparations for continued production during wartime.

    The party is the dominant force in munitions production, though the armed forces and the government participate in the process. The No. 2 Economic Committee of the Worker's Party oversees all production activity. The military keeps track of consumption and demand while the government delivers electricity and necessary raw materials.

    The No. 2 Economic Committee was created in the seventies by merging all offices and bureaus related to arms production scattered under various departments of the Administrative Council. The committee has entire production plants under its management for production of small-arms, ships, and even aircraft. The committee also takes a leading role in development of new equipment as well as export and import of arms.

    Even civilian manufacturing plants operating under the Administrative Council are obligated to set aside workspace for production of small arms and their parts, the production of which is supervised by the No. 2 Economic Committee.

    Armament production has been unaffected by a current host of economic problems, due to its priority over civilian industries in the supply of electricity and materials, as well as negative reinforcement such as trials in military courts for those who fail to meet their production quota. The armaments industry is being given an institutional boost by all means possible.

    (130mm Self-propelled Howitzer)
    The DPRK concentrated on production of small arms such as rifles, machine guns, and mortars, copying Soviet and Chinese weapons. North Korea was thus able to achieve self-sufficiency in production of basic munitions. The industry moved on to production of tanks, armored vehicles, destroyers, and other and other heavy equipment in the seventies.

    ( 112mm Multiple Rocket Launcher)
    Continued investment and development created an industry able to produce modern weaponry such as anti-tank missiles and guided SAM's by the eighties. Scud ballistic missiles as well as North Korean versions of the AN-2 planes and the MI-2 helicopter, were also being produced in North Korean factories.

    (SILKWORM Anti-ship Missile)
    The North Korean weapons industry in the nineties is attempting to develop advanced weaponry such as the Rodong-1 rocket and other guided weaponry. Assembly of latest fighters such as the MiG-29 and others is also in the works. It is safe to assume that North Korea is able to produce all but the most advanced weaponry.

    The North Korean government and the military-industrial complex operates a diverse array of production plants and their numbers total 1800. Among them are forty small arms plants, ten armored vehicle factories, ten shipyards for combat vessels, fifty explosives facilities, etc. Most of the facilities are located in Chagang Province and other remote inland areas, and are partially or wholly underground to minimize damage in war.

    The plants are not named but are usually given numbers like Factory No. 65 (Junchon, Chagang Province), No. 67 (Kangdong, South Pyongan), or No. 81 (Junchon, Chagang Province) to obscure their true identity. Emergency shelters are under construction near factories and plants, and mobilization plans for persons and materials have already been completed to assure continued production even through the fires of war.