8th U.S. Army

The largest U.S. Army element in Korea today is the Eighth United States Army, the core force of the United Nations Command during the Korean War. It has been in Korea since 1950. Major subordinate commands are the 2nd Infantry Division and the 19th Support Command. 8th Army is currently headquartered on Yongsan Army Garrison, Seoul.

The Threat Today

The north has steadily modernized its military since the Korean War’s end by spending nearly 25 percent of its gross national product on improvements. It has the world’s fifth largest land force, while ranking 40th in population. It also has one of the largest ranger/commando forces, totaling about 100,000 men and women.

North Korea’s army is well equipped and significantly outnumbers our combined forces team in many areas. For example, they have a more than two-to-one advantage in tanks.

To support its powerful army, the north has steadily built its air force to nearly 1200 aircraft. More than 600 of these are jet fighters. Some planes are very old and lack the speed, firepower and all-weather capability of more modern fighters, but they are well maintained and quite serviceable.

The north also has a large fleet of bi-wing transport planes. These are old and slow, but very quiet and they can fly beneath most radar and could deliver ranger/commando forces behind our lines. More than 60 transport helicopters can be used for the same purpose.

The north’s large navy is composed primarily of torpedo boats and submarines. It is estimated that the north could launch an attack and sustain it for approximately 60 days without help from its allies.

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