"There is no question that North Korea poses a major threat to its neighbors and can drag the United States and potentially China into a serious regional conflict," longtime national security analyst Anthony H. Cordesman said in an assessment for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "At the same time, no one should exaggerate the threat to the point of panic or make North Korea into some kind of towering threat."
"It has always had far more equipment than its total manning can actually operate," he said. "You have an army with some 25,000 regulars and some 25,000 conscripts, attempting to man a force with over 2,000 tanks and something on the order of 2,000 other armored vehicles and 2,500 artillery pieces. It frankly is a structure that exists in a dream world."