Deals between Mafia Boss Marat Balagula, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus Exposed

Marat Balagula | Mafia Wiki | Fandom

Marat Balagula

Documents released through Par:AnoIA, allegedly containing details about deals with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The documents are partly in English, Russian and Chinese. One document, obtained from the Chinese foreign office in Minsk indicates relations between the notorious Russian mob boss Marat Balagula and high ranking Ukrainian politicians.

Download the documents here:

https://data.ddosecrets.com/file/Chinese%20Ministry%20of%20Commerce/BYCN.rar

Marat Balagula (born September 8, 1943, Orenburg, USSR) was a Russian immigrant who was a Former Soviet Union leader and  Russian mafia boss, and close associate of the Lucchese crime family. His nickname was “Tony Soprano of the Russian Mafia”.

Biography

Balagula was born in 1943 in Orenburg, Russia, at the height of World War II. His mother, Zinaida, fled with the children from their home in Odessa after the German Wehrmacht swept across the Russian steppes. Marat’s father, Jakov, was a lieutenant in the Red Army; Balagula claims that he was one of the armored corps that stormed Berlin during the last desperate hours of the war. In the harshness of the Joseph Stalin era, the Balagulas led a comfortable, middle class life. Jakov worked in a factory manufacturing locks, as did his wife. Young Marat, an average high school student, was drafted into the Soviet Army at the age of nineteen and served as a bursar for three years, after which the Party assigned him to manage a food co-op in Odessa. Determined to get ahead, Marat attended night school, receiving diploma as a teacher of mathematics and then a business degree in economics and mathematics. Like many ambitious Russians with capitalist predilections, he promptly plunged into the country’s flourishing black market. He quickly learned to attend to the demanding appetites of the apparatchiks, making certain that the choicest meats and produce was delivered to them.

Arrival to the U.S.

In 1977, Balagula decided to move his family to the United States under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. At first he worked as a textile cutter in Washington Heights, Manhattan for $3.50 per hour. His wife Alexandra later reminisced, “It was hard for us, with no language, no money.”

Balagula’s fortunes improved markedly when he relocated his family to Brighton Beach and began to work for the infamous vor Evsei Agron… Agron, it turned out, was no match for the ambitious Balagula. While Agron’s technical expertise didn’t go beyond seeking sadistic new uses for his electric cattle prod, Balagula wanted to lead the Organizatsiya into the upscale world of white collar crime, and with the experience he had gained in the Soviet Union, he developed a business acumen that put him in a class by himself. surrounded by a cadre of Russian economists and math prodigies at the Odessa restaurant, he acquired a knowledge of global markets that enabled him to make millions in the arcane world of commodities trading. He also energetically cultivated the Italian mobsters he met as Agron’s consigliere. After Agron was executed, Balagula organized his followers into a hierarchy, much like the Italian Mafia and before long, succeeded in transforming the Organizatsiya into a multi-billion dollar criminal empire that stretched across from the tatters of Communist Eastern Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Ultimately, however, it was Balagula’s spectacular success in the gasoline bootlegging business — a scheme that would reportedly earn him hundreds of millions of dollars and an honored position with the Italian Mafia — that would usher in the first Golden Age of Russian organized crime in America.”

Russian mob

According to a former associate “Marat was the king of Brighton Beach. He had a Robin Hood complex. People would come over from Russia and he’d give them jobs. He liked professional men. Guys came over and couldn’t practice medicine or use their engineering degrees. He sought them out. He was fascinated with intellectuals. He co-opted them. He put them into the gasoline business, he put them into car washes or taxi companies. He’d reinvest his own money in their business if they were having trouble. He had a heart.”

According to a former Suffolk County, New York prosecutor, however, there was another side to Balagula.

“Everybody in Brighton Beach talked about Balagula in hushed tones. These were people who knew him from the Old Country. They were really, genuinely scared of this guy.”

Lucchese Crime family associate

After the Colombo crime family began shaking down his gasoline business, Balagula asked for a sitdown with Lucchese crime family consigliere Christopher Furnari at Brooklyn’s 19th Hole social club. According to Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who was a Lucchese family soldier present at the meeting, Furnari declared,

“Here there’s enough for everybody to be happy… to leave the table satisfied. What we must avoid is trouble between us and the other families. I propose to make a deal with the others so there’s no bad blood…. Meanwhile, we will send word out that from now on you and your people are with the Lucchese family. No one will bother you. If anyone does bother you, come to us and Anthony will take care of it.”

New York’s Five Families imposed a two cent per gallon “Family tax” on Balagula’s bootlegging operation, which became their greatest moneymaker after drug trafficking. According to one former associate,

“La Cosa Nostra reminded Marat of the apparatchiks, power structure and hierarchy in the Soviet Union. He thought as long as he gave them something they would be powerful allies who would protect him from enemies and law enforcement. Then all of a sudden he was at risk of being killed if he couldn’t pay to the penny.”

Because Anthony Casso and Balagula hit it off so well, Casso was soon partners with Balagula in a diamond mine located in Sierra Leone, Africa. They opened a business office in Freetown. Casso also arranged for an Orthodox Jewish friend of his named Simon Stein, a diamond expert and member of the DeBeers Club, to travel from the Forty-seventh Street diamond district to Africa to smuggle diamonds back into the country in the linings and collars of overcoats and in secret compartments of very expensive leather luggage.

Enemies

It didn’t take long for word on the street to reach the Russian underworld: Marat Balagula was paying off the Italians; Balagula was a punk; Balagula had no balls. Balagula’s days were numbered. This, of course, was the beginning of serious trouble. Balagula did in fact have balls — he was a ruthless killer when necessary — but he also was a smart diplomatic administrator and he knew that the combined, concerted force of the Italian crime families would quickly wipe the newly arrived Russian competition off the proverbial map.

Shortly afterward, Balagula’s rival, a high-ranking Russian mafia member named Vladimir Reznikov, drove up to Balagula’s offices in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Sitting in his car, Reznikov opened fire on the office building with an AK-47 assault rifle. One of Balagula’s close associates was killed and several secretaries were wounded.

Then, on June 12, 1986, Reznikov entered the Odessa nightclub in Brighton Beach. Reznikov pushed a 9mm Beretta into Balagula’s skull and demanded $600,000 as the price of not pulling the trigger. He also demanded a percentage of everything Balagula was involved in. After Balagula promised to get the money, Reznikov snarled, “Fuck with me and you’re dead – you and your whole fucking family; I swear I’ll fuck and kill your wife as you watch – you understand?”.

Shortly after Reznikov left, Balagula suffered a massive heart attack. He insisted, however on being treated at his home in Brighton Beach, where he felt it would be harder for Reznikov to kill him. When Anthony Casso arrived, he listened to Balagula’s story and seethed with fury. Casso later told his biographer Philip Carlo that, to his mind, Reznikov had just spat in the face of the entire Cosa Nostra. Casso responded, “Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We’ll take care of the rest.” Balagula responded, “You’re sure? This is an animal. It was him that used a machine gun in the office.” Casso responded, “Don’t concern yourself. I promise we’ll take care of him… Okay?” Casso then requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car.

The following day, Reznikov returned to the Rasputin nightclub to pick up his money. Upon realizing that Balagula wasn’t there, Reznikov launched into a barrage of profanity and stormed back to the parking lot. There, Reznikov and two of his underlings was shot dead by Gambino crime family veteran hitman Joseph Testa with a machine gun. Testa then jumped into a car driven by Anthony Senter and left Brighton Beach. According to Casso, “After that, Marat didn’t have any problems with the Russians ever again.”

Downfall

In 1986, Balagula masterminded a $750,000 credit card scam when a business associate, Robert Fasano, began wearing a wire on him for the U.S. Secret Service. After being convicted on Federal charges, Balagula fled to Antwerp with his longtime mistress Natalia Shevchenko. After three years as a fugitive, Balagula was arrested in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany on February 27, 1989. In December 1989, Balagula was extradited to the United States and sentenced to eight years in prison for credit card fraud.

In November 1992, Balagula was convicted at a separate trial for gasoline bootlegging and sentenced to an additional ten years in Federal prison. While passing sentence, Judge Leonard Wexler declared, “This was supposed to be a haven for you. It turned out to be a hell for us.”

Balagula served his sentence and was released from Federal prison in 2004. Balagula was quoted as saying; “They claim I made $25 million per day bootlegging. It’s crazy! I got nothing. What have I got? The government took my apartment in Manhattan, my house in Long Island, $300,000 in cash. They said, ‘If you don’t cooperate with us you’ll go to jail for twenty years.’ … They want me to tell them about the Mafia, about gasoline, about hits. Forget it. All these charges are bullshit! All my life I like to help people. Just because a lot of people come to me for advice, everybody thinks I’m a boss. I came to America to find work, support myself, and create a future for my children.”

In 1977, Balagula decided to move his family to the United States under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. At first he worked as a textile cutter in Washington Heights, Manhattan for $3.50 per hour. His wife Alexandra later reminisced, “It was hard for us, with no language, no money.”

In the aftermath of Evsei Agron’s murder, Balagula took over as the most powerful Russian gangster in Brooklyn. According to a former Suffolk County, New York, prosecutor, however, there was another side to Balagula. “Everybody in Brighton Beach talked about Balagula in hushed tones. These were people who knew him from the Old Country. They were really, genuinely scared of this guy.”

After the Colombo crime family began shaking down his gasoline business, Balagula asked for a sitdown with Lucchese crime family consigliere Christopher Furnari at Brooklyn’s 19th Hole social club. According to Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who was a Lucchese soldier present at the meeting, Furnari declared,

In the aftermath, New York’s Five Families imposed a two cent per gallon “Family tax” on Balagula’s bootlegging operation, which became their greatest moneymaker after drug trafficking. According to one former associate,

According to author Philip Carlo, “Because Gaspipe and Russian mobster Marat Balagula hit it off so well, Casso was soon partners with Balagula on a diamond mine located in Sierra LeoneAfrica. They opened a business office in Freetown.

Balagula’s rival, a fellow Russian immigrant named Vladimir Reznikov, drove up to Balagula’s offices in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Sitting in his car, Reznikov opened fire on the office building with an AK-47 assault rifle. One of Balagula’s close associates was killed and several secretaries were wounded.

Then, on June 12, 1986, Reznikov entered the Odessa nightclub in Brighton Beach. Reznikov pushed a 9mm Beretta into Balagula’s skull and demanded $600,000 as the price of not pulling the trigger. He also demanded a percentage of everything Balagula was involved in. Shortly after Reznikov left, Balagula suffered a massive heart attack. He insisted, however on being treated at his home in Brighton Beach, where he felt it would be harder for Reznikov to kill him. When Anthony Casso arrived, he listened to Balagula’s story and seethed with fury. Casso later told his biographer Philip Carlo that, to his mind, Reznikov had just spat in the face of the entire Cosa Nostra. Casso responded, “Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We’ll take care of the rest.”[10] Balagula responded, “You’re sure? This is an animal. It was him that used a machine gun in the office.” Casso responded, “Don’t concern yourself. I promise we’ll take care of him … Okay?” Casso then requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car.

The following day, Reznikov returned to the Rasputin nightclub to pick up his money. Upon realizing that Balagula wasn’t there, Reznikov launched into a barrage of profanity and stormed back to the parking lot. There, Reznikov was shot dead by DeMeo crew veteran Joseph Testa. Testa then jumped into a car driven by Anthony Senter and left Brighton Beach. According to Casso, “After that, Marat didn’t have any problems with other Russians.”

In 1986, Balagula was masterminding a $750,000 credit card scam when a business associate, Robert Fasano, began wearing a wire on him for the U.S. Secret Service. After being convicted on Federal charges, Balagula fled to Antwerp with his longtime mistress Natalia Shevchenko. After three years as a fugitive, Balagula was arrested in Frankfurt am MainWest Germany, on February 27, 1989. In December 1989, Balagula was extradited to the United States and sentenced to eight years in prison for credit card fraud.

In November 1992, Balagula was convicted at a separate trial for gasoline bootlegging and sentenced to an additional ten years in Federal prison. While passing sentence, Judge Leonard Wexler declared, “This was supposed to be a heaven for you. It turned out to be a hell for us.”

Balagula served his sentence and was released from Federal prison in 2004.

He died from cancer in 2019.

Where Have All The Communist KGB and STASI Spies Gone ?

Fallout 4 - RED SCARE - FULL QUEST Mod Playthrough - COMMUNIST SPY ...

A look back: On Normannenstrasse in East Berlin, in the core of a standard white collar class neighborhood, stands a gigantic office complex: 41 solid structures as inauspiciously utilitarian as the condo towers that encompass them. Nine months prior it was the base camp of East Germany’s Ministry for State Security – the Staatsicherheit – or Stasi, maybe the most modern and sweeping undercover work association at any point made. Be that as it may, among January and March this year, as East Germany’s Communist Government at long last crumbled, the Stasi was officially disbanded. Today, the solid fortress is abandoned, its 10,000 rooms fixed, its operators bolted out.

From these dreary structures, 34,000 officials ran the Stasi’s 39 divisions. The staff included 2,100 operators alloted nonstop to perusing mail passed on from post workplaces and territorial Stasi base camp, 5,000 specialists liable for following suspects, and 6,000 agents whose solitary employment was tuning in to private phone discussions.

Primary Department VIII, otherwise called Observation, kept a nearby watch on residents through a broad system of sources in neighborhoods, schools, libraries and even service stations. Principle Department II – Counterintelligence – did electronic reconnaissance of outside ambassadors, specialists and writers and put spies in their workplaces, homes and lodgings. The Stasi even had a division to keep an eye on other Stasi individuals and sources.

”We are as yet getting stuns from what we discover,” says the movie producer Klaus Wendler, a representative for an East German Government advisory group that is currently filtering through the Stasi’s 5,000,000 documents. ”Performers had to keep an eye on individual artists, understudies were pressured into keeping an eye on companions, and youngsters were tricked into keeping an eye on their folks.”

With the disbanding of the Stasi, 85,000 full-time officials lost their positions essentially for the time being. Close to 10,000 have since discovered productive business, a large portion of them in different Government services, remembering 2,000 for the Ministry of the Interior, which some time ago administered the Stasi. The rest have joined the developing positions of East Germany’s jobless; some make due with standard joblessness benefits, while others get no Government remuneration by any stretch of the imagination. Many are upset at ending up barred, even alienated, by their kindred residents.

Abroad, the greater part of the Stasi’s 2,500 profession officials in consulates and missions no longer have a covert operative central command to answer to, and its untold a large number of independent covert government agents no longer get cash from their previous experts. West German insight officials gauge that there are exactly 5,000 agents in West Germany today, 500 of them ”top operators.” Eighty of those are thought to have entered the most elevated echelons of the military and Government, West German authorities state, including knowledge offices.

In spite of emotional political changes in Europe, West German insight authorities dread that not every one of these covert agents have changed their loyalties. Exceptionally restrained and still covert, some are as yet gathering and transferring data to Soviet knowledge organs, the West Germans accept. Others, they think, are essentially sticking around for their chance, holding back to be enacted.

Communist Spy Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip ...

The Stasi has for some time been perceived as one of the best insight benefits on the planet, in a similar alliance as those of Israel and France. By the by, in the course of the most recent seven months, West German and American knowledge authorities have been astounded to find the size of its outside tasks, arranged until his retirement three years prior by the scandalous Markus Wolf. Until 1979, Western knowledge operators didn’t have a present photo of ”the man without a face.” But as of late he has ventured out from the shadows. Today, a smash hit creator, Wolf talks uninhibitedly of his effective infiltration of the West German insight and military over a time of over 30 years. What he doesn’t talk about is psychological oppression.

Over the most recent two months, frightening disclosures have become visible specifying the Stasi’s connects to an assortment of fear based oppressor gatherings, quite the extreme left Red Army Faction, eight of whose individuals were captured in June. With the assistance of the Stasi, they had been given new personalities and occupations in East Germany in the wake of doing psychological militant activities in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Stasi has additionally been ensnared in the Libyan-coordinated bombarding of the La Belle disco in West Germany in 1986: According to new data from witnesses and held onto documents, Stasi operators helped transport the explosives to West Berlin that brought about the passings of two American fighters.

In East Germany, as well, the Stasi, albeit formally nonexistent, stays a danger. In late June, new divulgences uncovered that in 1986, as the Soviet Union started changing its general public and the East German economy kept on decaying, the Stasi, predicting turmoil – however not the finish of the divider – set in excess of 2,000 individuals from a world class mystery team into the most significant levels of East German Government divisions, organizations and colleges. Another 500 government agents were dispatched to West Germany. East German authorities state that a large portion of them are still set up, their characters obscure, and suspect that they are compelled to hold up out any political disturbance.

Insight authorities are in a race to carry the most exceedingly terrible guilty parties to equity before they go for all time underground or sign up with new bosses. The pursuit is suggestive, says one American ambassador in Berlin, of a period in the no so distant past: ”Ferreting out the government operatives, psychological oppressors and Stasi operators is comparable to the quest for the Nazis and their teammates after they endeavored to vanish into German culture toward the finish of the war.”

On Friday morning, only 48 hours from money related unification on July 1, East Berlin is bursting at the seams with energy. Global camera teams and columnists have attacked the city to catch the beginning of another time. Be that as it may, in his office, just strides from the Volkskammer, or Parliament, Peter-Michael Diestel, East Germany’s 38-year-old Interior Minister, ponders the insult inheritance of the past. ”My crucial,” says just, ”is to destroy the Stasi.”

That assignment has tumbled to an impossible competitor: a previous dairy animals draining victor, weight lifter (he can seat press 420 pounds) and infrequent legal counselor who accepted the position of Interior Minister to a great extent in light of the fact that nobody else needed it.

Diestel, a local of Leipzig, has been occupied since getting to work in April. He has enrolled the collaboration of huge quantities of previous Stasi officials and, utilizing data from witnesses and Stasi records, has attempted to acquire ”independent” agents, either by extending to them employment opportunities or persuading them that the Stasi is done. He has gone along key data on fear mongers and sources to West German knowledge offices, and helped organize the capture in June of the Red Army Faction psychological oppressors. At last, Diestel built up the Stasi’s complicity in the La Belle disco bombarding.

Diestel is exploring a forlorn course, subject to furious assaults from both the left and right in East Germany, extraordinary weight from West German authorities, and week after week requires his acquiescence by the German Social Union, a traditionalist gathering in East Germany’s overseeing alliance. Due to day by day dangers against his life, the police monitor his significant other and three little youngsters nonstop. Says Peter Pragal, East Berlin reporter for the week by week magazine Stern: ”He has the hardest activity in Germany, East or West.”

Other than its full-time officials, selected from the best and most brilliant in East German culture, the Stasi had 150,000 dynamic sources and 500,000 to 2 million low maintenance witnesses in East Germany. Its land property alone – including the huge fortresslike complex in East Berlin and Stasi’s in excess of 2,000 structures, homes, dugouts, havens, medical clinics, and resorts all through East Germany – have been esteemed in the billions of dollars. Up until this point, Government agents attempting to take stock of the Stasi have counted 23,000 vehicles and trucks and 250,000 weapons, including submachine firearms, guns, rifles and explosive launchers.

The productive Stasi machine accumulated broad dossiers on in excess of 5 million East Germans – 33% of the populace – that included data as close as sexual propensities and as everyday as books settled up with the library. A great many calls were recorded; condos were pester and unlawfully looked (the Stasi would orchestrate to have suspects kept late at their employments). One protester as of late found that a small scale listening gadget fit for transmitting three miles had been sewn into his jacket neckline.

Residents were powerless against the Stasi’s Orwellian interruption whenever and anyplace – in their condos, industrial facilities, houses of worship, cafés, libraries, specialists’ workplaces, rooms, even on their excursions abroad. In some East German urban communities, each bit of mail was opened in exceptional steam rooms joined to the post workplaces.

At the point when East German soccer groups ventured out to play coordinates in West Germany, Stasi specialists obliged busloads of fans, checking whether any East German sat close to a West German, showed a West German banner or sang the West German national song of praise.

Igor Gouzenko, The Soviet Defector Who Started the Cold War

Up and down the a large number of miles of East German expressway, Stasi specialists acted like corner store chaperons, servers and travelers, cautiously taking note of whether East Germans left their vehicles close to Western vehicles or conveyed dubiously overwhelming baggage.

The Stasi made it basically incomprehensible for East Germans not to work together. Each field operator needed to convey in any event 25 new sources or start 25 examinations consistently. Residents who declined to help were either set apart as subversives or left to adapt to the administration independent. ”You were unable to go anyplace in East German culture except if you could pull the correct strings,” says Hasso Von Samson, a spokesman for West Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution. ”But I guess that’s what happens when they take away your enemy.”

This article reflects the situation in Germany in 1990.

Since then the top spies are still in touch with each other and form a dangerous network which is similiar to the Cosa Nostra in the USA and/or Sicily, the Yakuza in Japan, the Russian Mafia and the Chinese Triads.

The only distinction: The German STASI has learned the code of Omerta and operates in the dark – within the government, the Gauck administration, the Bundestag, the left party, the legal system as judges, attorney and prosecutors, the police and also in the German security and intelligence services.

And last not but least as undercover agents and informer for former KGB spy Wladimir Putin, now Russia’s ruler like former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former STASI agent Matthias Warnig and the Gazprom and North Stream – Energy connection.

It is a taboo until now.

EXPOSED – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

EXPOSED – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

The Korean peninsula is a location of strategic interest for the US in the Pacific Command (PACOM), and many observers note that North Korea is an unpredictable and potentially volatile actor. According to the Department of Defense in its report to Congress and the intelligence community, the DPRK “remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” Some of the latest evidence of irrational behavior is the elevation of Kim Jong Un’s 26-year old sister to a high governmental post late in 2014, the computer hacking of the Sony Corporation supposedly by North Korea during late 2014 over the possible release of a film that mocked Kim Jong Un, and the April 2015 execution of a defense chief for allegedly nodding off during a meeting. Over the past 50 years, North Korea has sporadically conducted operations directed against its enemies, especially South Korea. These actions included attacks on South Korean naval vessels, the capturing of a US ship and holding American hostages for 11 months, the hijacking of a South Korean airline jet, electronic warfare against South Korean signals including global positioning satellites (GPS), and assassinations or attempted assassinations on South Korean officials including the ROK president. The attempted 1968 Blue House Raid by North Korean elite military personnel resulted in the death or capture of all 31 infiltrators involved in the assassination attempt as well as the death of 71 personnel, including three Americans, and the injury of 66 others as the North Korean SPF personnel attempted to escape back to DPRK territory.

The purpose of this North Korean Threat Tactics Report (TTR) is to explain to the Army training community how North Korea fights including its doctrine, force structure, weapons and equipment, and the warfighting functions. A TTR also identifies where the conditions specific to the actor are present in Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) and other training materials so that these conditions can easily be implemented across all training venues.

Executive Summary

North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

Weaknesses

Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II. This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months. Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries. Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.

The DPRK’s unorthodox use of provocation in order to obtain concessions from its enemies—especially the US, South Korea, and Japan—is a danger. One never knows what North Korea will do next as, in the past, the DPRK has sanctioned assassination attempts on South Korean political leaders and conducted bombings when South Korean contingents are in another country, unannounced attacks on ships by submarines, unprovoked artillery attacks, or has tunneled underground into another country. US military personnel stationed in South Korea must be prepared for the unexpected from the DPRK.

One of these incidents could ignite the Korean peninsula back into a full-blown war. While an armistice has been in place since 1953, an armistice is just a ceasefire waiting for a peace treaty to be signed or for the resumption of hostilities. Any conflict between North and South Korea would inevitably bring the US into the conflict as the ROK has been an ally for over six decades.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the missiles to transport it up to 9,650 km makes it a threat to US forces stationed in Korea, Japan, Alaska, or even the west coast of the continental United States. Even more concerning was the DPRK’s first successful test launch of a KN-11 missile from a submarine on 23 January 2015 since, in the near future, the North Korean submarines could silently move closer to their targets before launching a nuclear missile that would give the US less warning time. If the DPRK thought that the survival of its country or the Kim regime was at stake, North Korea might use any nuclear weapons at its disposal. The KPA also possesses chemical weapons and its doctrine calls for their employment. The DPRK is also involved in biological weapons research and would likely use those with offensive capabilities. US military personnel training for deployment to South Korea must be prepared to fight in a chemical, biological, or nuclear environment.