South Korea has the world's sixth-strongest military, outclassing the 28th-ranked North Korea, according to Global Firepower (GFP) 2021.
An index released annually by Global Firepower, a website that tracks military strength, it said the South scored 0.1621 to rank sixth out of 138 countries, remaining unchanged from 2020. The North fell three notches compared to 2020 after scoring 0.4684.
|A South Korean soldier poses in digital camouflage-pattered uniform and gears. The country is ranked the sixth in the Global Firepower (GFP) 2021 index on the military strength by countries. Gettyimagebank|
Nuclear capability, however, is not taken into account in the assessment, according to Global Firepower.
The United States topped the list by scoring 0.0721 followed by Russia with 0.0796, China at 0.0858, India at 0.1214 and Japan at 0.1435.
The latest figures were revealed as South Korea bolsters its defensive capabilities against North Korea's persistent nuclear and ballistic missile threats.
For instance, the South launched a domestically developed 3,000-ton submarine called Ahn Mu in November 2020. The country is expected to conduct underwater tests of its own submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) this year.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, speaking at a rare ruling party congress earlier this year, urged his scientists to enhance the country's "nuclear deterrent" and to "do everything possible build the strongest military might."
"However, prolonged sanctions appear to be making it tricky for the North to acquire relevant equipment and strengthen its military strength," said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.