SEOUL, April 13 (UPI) — South Korea’s military manpower ranked 11th in the world, well above rival North Korea, according to an annual ranking of the world’s armed forces.
The website Global Firepower showed that while Seoul’s army was one of the world’s largest, North Korea’s military strength ranked 25th, The Korea Herald reported.
The United States maintained the No. 1 position that it occupied in 2015, followed by Russia, China, India, France and Britain.
Japan moved up two positions to No. 7 after ranking ninth in 2015.
South Korea had ranked seventh in 2015, but based on the number and range of weapons, geographical considerations, logistics, natural resources, industry and manpower, Seoul fell four positions in 2016, according to the survey.
The report comes at a time when North Korea has stepped up provocations with an announced nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February, which was for the “peaceful” purpose of sending a satellite into space, according to Pyongyang.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s tough measures against the North for belligerence, which included the suspension of operations at a jointly operated factory park, did not factor into elections in South Korea on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The economy remained the top concern for South Koreans who voted, and the strong turnout for the main opposition Minjoo Party could make it harder for Park and ruling conservatives to push for economic deregulation.
Economic anxiety has been fueled by key indicators including a youth unemployment rate that rose to a record 12.5 percent in February, according to The Journal.