An Estimate of Energy Use in the Armed Forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

David Von Hippel & Peter Hayes, Nautilus Institute, November 1997.

In the course of preparing an estimate for 1990 energy supply and demand in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea), the authors compiled an estimate of fuel use by the various branches and subsectors of the DPRK military. These include ground forces, the Air Force, naval forces, military-related manufacturing, military buildings and other military end-uses of coal, electricity, and petroleum products. The methods used to prepare these estimates are described. Overall energy use is dominated by coal and electricity used in military buildings and for other end uses. The armed forces, however, are estimated to have consumed a significant portion (19 percent) of the petroleum products used in the DPRK in 1990. Two-and-one-half-tonne trucks are estimated to consume more one-third of the petroleum products used by the military, with patrol boats being the next largest user. Overall, ground forces accounted for just under half (49 percent) of military petroleum products use, with naval forces consuming about 36 percent of petroleum products, and the Air Force the remaining 14 percent.

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