They are short and extremely skinny because they are not fed properly. This malnourishment causes the overall average height of North Korean soldiers to fall way below the healthy average. These kids need to have proper nutrition to grow, but instead they are stunted at a very young age. North Korea's height requirement for enlisting was 150cm in 2008, but now it got lowered to 142cm in 2012. This is truly tragic. If soldiers are like this, we can only imagine how the peasants are like. South Korea's average height for men in their 20s is 173cm. North Korea is 158cm. That is a huge difference that comes directly from the government's tyrannical and selfish policies.