They are the pride of their dictatorial ruler, and the men and women Kim Jong-un will rely upon to lay down their lives if Donald Trump chooses to strike.
But the threat of war doesn't stop the soldiers of North Korea's army from letting their hair down once in a while, as these pictures from the reclusive state show.
Uniformed troops can be seen laughing, going on fairground rides, and even attending a dolphin show at Pyongyang's 'dolphinarium', a Sea World-esque amusement park.
Life is obviously not all fun and games within the reclusive state, as other pictures show troops undergoing rigorous military drills or taking on gruelling manual labour by hauling bundles of wood.
The troops practice for hours each day, according to photographer Eric Lafforgue, in preparation for war.
That battle may come sooner than many thought as Donald Trump positioned a carrier group off the coast of the Korean peninsula this week, threatening to go it alone if China does not put pressure on Kim's regime.