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.
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.
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.
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 – 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]