Korea: February 20, 2003


For the first time in 20 years, a North Korean warplane entered South Korean air space. A North Korean MiG-19 (a 1950s era design) flew off the west coast, 13 kilometers into South Korean air space, before turning around. Six South Korean F-5E (a 1970s design) were sent up to confront the MiG-19. The North Korean air force is composed largely of relics like the MiG-19, and pilots who barely know how to fly because of the shortage of fuel for training flights. South Korean pilots fly more modern aircraft, and fly them a lot more frequently, thus giving the south a substantial quality edge against the north in any air battle. 

UN aid agencies warn that if donor nations don't come forward to finance new food shipments, the health gains in North Korea over the last four years will be lost. The UN pointed out that in 1998, when major food donations began, some 61 percent of North Korean children were seriously underweight, but last year it was only 21 percent. Despite large scale diversions of food aid to the North Korean military (which contains nearly half of the males in their 20s), refugees from the north report hunger in the ranks. Nearly a decade of famine has brought to the military smaller and weaker (and more unhappy) recruits. The refugees also report shortages of fuel and spare parts, and ageing ammunition stocks that produce unreliable results when used for live fire exercises (artillery shells that are duds or are inaccurate, rifle ammo that causes jammed weapons.) 


Article Archive

Korea: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close