Worker-Peasant Red Guards
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The Worker-Peasant Red Guards (로동자 농민 흑위병) is a paramilitary force in North Korea. It is the largest civilian defense force in the DPRK with an estimated 2007 strength of approximately 3.5 million. It was established in January 14, 1959 by Kim Il-sung and is not only under National Defense Commission and Ministry of People's Armed Forces control, but is also attached to the Worker's Party of Korea under its Department of Civil Defense.
The militia is organized on a provincial/town/city/ village level, and structured on a brigade, battalion, company, and platoon basis. The militia maintains infantry small arms, with some mortars and anti-aircraft guns and even modernized older equipment such as multiple rocket launchers like the BM-14 and older Ural D-62 motorcycles, although some units are unarmed indicating status as logistics and medical units.
Their flag has been seen together with the flags of the KPA Ground Force, Navy, and Air Force at military briefings, indicating that the Red Guards has equal status with each of the other service branches, and is paraded along with similar-sized plain red banners.
- IISS Military Balance 2007, p.359
- "Golden Jubilee of Worker-Peasant Red Guards Marked", KCNA, January 13, 2009
- Bermudez (2001), pg 4–5.