The average annual number worldwide is some 2%, according to the recent World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 2015 report by the US State Department.
North Korea is a unique nation to this effect, putting into its army, navy and air force almost a quarter of GDP – 23.8%, to be precise, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the country’s main rival, South Korea, has a 2.5% military burden, while the United States, the chief ally of the latter, dedicates some 4.3% to this expenditure. Neighboring China and Russia hold this parameter close to 2.1% and 3.7%, respectively.
Adding to this, North Korea ranks 4th globally in term of its armed forces’ personnel, with a 1,170,000 mean for 2002-2012, while only 679,000 served with the South Korean military, ranked 7 in the world.
By number of military personnel China, the US and Russia are ranked 1st, 2nd and 5th, respectively, estimated at 2,210,000 for the People’s Republic of China, 1,410,000 for the United States of America and 1,000,000 for the Russian Federation.