North Korean soldiers march across the Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang last October.
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With tensions high and the United States and South Korea ready to hold their massive annual war games next week, which North Korea sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion, Pyongyang is warning it will respond to any violations of its territory with "merciless" retaliation, including strikes on Seoul and the U.S. mainland.About 5 percent of its 24 million people are on active military duty, and another 25-30 percent are in paramilitary or reserve units, ready for mobilization.Here's a look, based on what AP reporters and photographers have seen on the ground and the latest report to the U.S. Congress by the Office of the Secretary of Defense:ON THE GROUNDBY THE NUMBERS: 950,000 troops, 4,200 tanks, 2,200 armored vehicles, 8,600 pieces of field artillery, 5,500 multiple rocket launchers.BEHIND THE NUMBERS: Divided into east and west fleets with about a dozen main bases, the navy is the smallest branch of the North Korean military.North Korea hasn't acquired any new fighter aircraft for decades.The North is working hard on its cyberwarfare capabilities, another key asymmetric military tactic.
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