Kim Jong Un Hands Out Presentation Pistols To His Generals

    We recently got a look at a rather rare pistol courtesy of North Korea’s 3rd Supreme Leader. On 27 July, Kim Jong-un commemorated the 67th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement in the Korean War by handing out Paektusan Presentation Pistols.

    Excitement at the presentation ceremony. Not much social distancing going on here and a fair few fingers on triggers too (via EPA)

    The Paektusan pistols were given to the commanders of the Korean People’s Army to honor the occasion. The pistols are named after a mountain on the Chinese–North Korean border. The Paektusan is essentially an ornate CZ-75 copy, although relatively little is known about them, some photos have surfaced.

    A photo of one of the pistols presented (Yonhap News)

    The photo above shows the contents of the presentation box. A pistol, spare magazine and a cleaning kit. The pistol itself has a North Korean crest in gold on the wooden grip panel. The frame and slide have engraving and the trigger, slide, slide stop and safety all appear to be gold plated. The golden accents are a nice parallel to the unequal nature of North Korea’s dictatorship.

    We also have some video of the Supreme Leader handing out the pistols and admiring them with some displaying some questionable trigger discipline:

    This isn’t the first gaudy gun we’ve looked at from North Korea. We’ve previously seen a chromed Baekdusan pistol, Type 88s (an AK-74 clone) and chromed Type 73 light machine guns. Most recently, back in December 2019, Kim Jong-un was seen presenting a beautiful chrome Type 88 rifle to a soldier of the Changlin Island defense unit.

    A close-up crop of the still of the ceremony from a Chosun Central TV report from Nov. 2019. The supreme leader hands over the chromed Type 88, complete with chromed mag and sling, while in the background is a brand new Lexus LX570 (Chosun Central TV/N. Korea State media)

    It appears that, as in many other countries, presentation versions of service weapons are an important part of North Korea’s military culture.

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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