North Korea, the commonly used short name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a nation located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, bordering South Korea to the south, China to the north and Russia to the extreme north east. North and South Korea have been split since the end of World War II and tensions between them have been tense. The current leader is Kim Jong-un, heir to his father Kim Jong-il, who died in December of 2011. North Korea is largely regarded as a Stalinist dictatorship, with elements of a "Cult of Personality." In October of 2006, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon, reportedly with mixed success.
For more info on this pivotal event refer to the Song Initiative page.
The Korean People's Army (KPA)Edit
North Korea (specifically, the military) is one of five factions in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction as well as the setting for the majority of the game (some sections of the Northern Province are in China). Equally infamous and mysterious, North Korea was closed to the rest of the world since its foundation with the backing of the Soviet Union just after the end of World War II. While foreign armies have succeeded in seizing control of most of North Korea's air, sea and land territory, the Korean People's Army, the military of North Korea, remains at large in significant numbers. Prior to the invasion, the KPA boasted the largest standing army in the world. They are completely hostile to the mercenary and all other factions, and are deadset on driving the foreigners out of North Korea.
The KPA's vehicles, equipment and weaponry all have two things in common: virtually all of the designs originate in the Soviet Union, and all of the hardware in the KPA's use is old and in many cases severely out of date, making the Korean People's Army dead last in the game for level of technological advancement. Though it has taken a beating from the invaders, the KPA remains a deadly threat given its sheer numbers of personnel, vast array of firepower, and the presence of many skilled and fanatical leaders (the Deck of 52, apart from the Clubs, who are civilian "businessmen") who continue to work relentlessly to make the KPA's strengths compensate for its weaknesses.
The KPA is led by the ruthless Choi Song, who at first is believed to have killed his father, Choi Kim to seize power over the nation. The Army, fearful of losing its power, backed Choi Song in his successful effort to destroy the imminent peaceful reunification of Korea under the government in Seoul. It now follows Choi Song wherever he chooses to lead it, whatever the cost may be to the KPA- or anyone else.
KPA Soldier ClassesEdit
The KPA have a basic variety of troops in Playground of Destruction.
- Regulars - The basic KPA soldier wears a brown uniform and round, ushanka-style hat and numerous NK insignias on their shoulders, collars and chest. They are almost always seen using the Assault Rifle but sometimes can be seen using Sniper Rifles and Anti-Material Rifles.
- Heavies - The Heavy KPA soldier is similar in appearance to the regular soldier but mainly use the RPG, the anti-air missile launcher and rarely the Light MG. The primary aesthetic difference compared to the regulars is a different hat, boots with their pants tucked in, and a large, black backpack used to store their ammo.
- Special Forces - Next is the NK Elite, very few are seen in the southern province and are only encountered during Ace contracts; however, in the Northern Province they are much more common. They wear a different, special forces-style outfit which consists of a brown, light-weight winter type uniform, a protective vest around the torso, black beanies and dark, striped face-paint. They mostly use the RPD, but can also be seen using RPGs, anti-air rockets and sniper rifles. They are very strong and much harder to take down, taking twice the amount of shots compared to regulars.
- Officers - NK Officers are the highest ranked non-Deck of 52 members of the KPA. They wear a uniform similar to the regular troops but much more detailed with more medals and badges located on the chest and a peaked cap. They almost always use the Type-85 and take more damage to kill than regular soldiers, but less than an elite soldier.
- Undercover Soldiers - The last, and definitely rarest, are the Undercover KPA soldiers. These soldiers are only seen in a few contracts and use the same range of weapons as the Elites but are dressed in full civilian clothing. Their armor can vary; some are killed easily, some are much tougher.
The Deck of 52 is a list of the most wanted men and women within the North Korean chain of command. Each suit of cards in the deck represents a group devoted towards a certain activity assigned to them by Song to advance his goals of conquest. These suits are:
- The Clubs - State-sponsored criminals and businessmen responsible for funding the North Korean military. (Division 39)
- The Diamonds - Military leaders who administer the North Korean war machine.
- The Hearts - Scientists responsible for developing weapons of mass destruction.
- The Spades - Comprised of General Song's personal bodyguard force and Song himself.
Although the North Korean faction make no appearance in the sequel, they are mentioned briefly by Solano, and it is implied they supplied him with the nuclear weapon he used against the AN and Chinese.
- Mi-2 Light Attack - Rare light transport and close air support helicopter
- Mi-17 Transport - Medium transport helicopter
- Mi-35 Gunship - Heavy gunship
- MD-500 Scout - Light attack and scout
- Sungri Scout - Primary ground vehicle
- FROG-7 - Mobile missile launcher vehicle
- SA-8 Anti-Air - Surface-to-Air missile vehicle
- ZSU-57 Anti-Air - Anti-Air Artillery vehicle
- BMP APC - Armored Personnel Carrier
- BTR APC - Light transport vehicle
- T-54 Tank - Primary tank
- T-62 tank - Primary heavy tank
- BRDM Scout - Armored scout vehicle
- Troop Transport - Primary ground transport vehicle
- Cargo Truck - Primary ground cargo/supplies truck
- Control Vehicle - Surveillance/Radar Jamming vehicle