After the history of the Iraqi Navy and the Bulgarian Air Force, I decided to devote the next block of articles to an equally unexplored topic - the Korean People's Army (KPA). The DPRK itself is a mystery country, and even less is known about what the KPA is armed with. so I'll start with small arms.
The armed formations of the Korean anti-Japanese resistance were armed primarily with captured Japanese weapons: 9-mm Hino revolvers "Type 26" mod. 1893, 8mm Nambu pistols mod. 1925 and 1934; 7, 7-mm rifle "Arisaka" "type 99" mod. 1939, 6, 5-mm light machine guns "type 96" mod. 1936 and "Type 97" mod. 1937, 7, 7-mm heavy machine guns "type 92" arr 1932
Japanese revolver "Hino" "type 26" mod. 1893 g.
Japanese pistol "Nambu" type 14 mod. 1925 g.
Japanese 7, 7-mm rifle "Arisaka" "Type 99" mod. 1939 g.
Japanese 6, 5-mm light machine gun "Nambu" (Type 96) mod. 1936 g.
Japanese 7, 7-mm heavy machine guns "type 92" arr 1932
Partisan detachments operating on the border with China and in Manchuria were armed with Chinese weapons: 7, 63-mm Mauser K-96 pistols (for example, the Mauser K-96 was Kim Il Sung's personal weapon), 7, 92-mm rifles Mauser arr. 1898 and its Chinese copy "Mauser Chiang Kai-shek", 7, 92-mm light machine guns ZB vz. 26, which were purchased in large quantities by China in Czechoslovakia in the pre-war period.
North Korean painting depicting Kim Il Sung and his wife Kim Jong Suk, firing back from the "Mauser" from the advancing Japanese
Chinese copy of the 7, 92-mm German rifle "Mauser 98" - "Mauser" Chiang Kai-shek"
Machine gun Zbrojovka Brno ZB vz. 26
After the defeat of the Japanese by Soviet troops, the people's militia units were created, which later became the backbone of the Korean People's Army, the creation of which was officially announced on February 8, 1948, that is, seven months before the proclamation of the DPRK itself (September 9, 1948).
The armament of both the people's militia and the created KPA began to receive Soviet small arms: 7, 62-mm TT pistols arr. 1933 and 7, 62-mm revolvers "Nagant" mod. 1895, 7, 62-mm submachine guns PPSh-41 and PPS-43; 7, 62-mm magazine carbines mod. 1938 and arr. 1944; 7, 62-mm Mosin magazine rifles mod. 1891 - 1930; 7, 62-mm self-loading rifle SVT-40 mod. 1940; 7, 62-mm DP (DP-27) light machine guns mod. 1927 and PDM arr. 1944; 7, 62-mm company (light) RP-46 machine gun mod. 1946; 7, 62-mm heavy machine gun SG-43 mod. 1943; 7, 62-mm heavy machine gun "Maxim" mod. 1910 and 12, 7-mm heavy machine gun DShK mod. 1938 g.
So, in March 1950, the USSR decided to supply the following small arms to the DPRK:
7, 62-mm rifle mod. 1891/30 - 22,000 pieces;
7, 62-mm carbines mod. 1938 and arr. 1944 - 19 638 pcs.;
7, 62 mm sniper rifles - 3000 pcs.
7, 62-mm DP light machine guns - 2325 pcs.;
7, 62-mm easel machine guns "Maxim" - 793 pcs.;
14.5-mm anti-tank rifles PTRS - 381 pcs.
And in total, before the start of the Korean War, more than 300 thousand rifles, more than 100 thousand carbines, more than 110 thousand submachine guns, more than 36 thousand machine guns (light, easel and anti-aircraft) were delivered.
Soldiers of the Korean People's Army during the Korean War 1950-1953:
1. Sergeant in summer field uniform, 1950.
2. Private in winter field uniform, 1950 (The figure is controversial, the use of SCS in Korea is unlikely).
3. Colonel in service uniform, 1952.
During the Korean War, the DPRK received Chinese copies of Soviet weapons from China: Type 51 and Type 54 (TT) pistols, Type 50 (PPSh) and Type 54 (PPS) submachine guns, and light machine guns. type 53 "(DPM), as well as a copy of the American submachine gun M-3A1-" type 36"
student members of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Guard (RKKG) with Chinese Type 36 submachine guns at the parade in honor of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, July 28, 2013
In the DPRK itself, the production of PPSh-41 under the designation "Type 49" and PPS-43 was established.
After the end of the Korean War, the KPA continued to enter service with both Soviet and Chinese weapons and weapons of their own production. In the DPRK itself, the production of pistols, self-loading carbines, assault rifles, light machine guns, anti-tank grenade launchers was established. So, at present, the North Korean military-industrial complex independently produces 11 types of small arms and its annual production capacity is estimated at 200 thousand units.
Let's move on to the products they produce:
The main personal self-defense weapon of the KPA officers is the Type 68 pistol, created on the basis of the Soviet TT. Its production was organized in 1968. It is shorter and more bulky than the TT or the Chinese counterparts of the TT "Type 51" and "Type 54". They are easily distinguished by the presence of notches in the rear of the slide of the Type 68 pistol. The internal mechanisms have undergone major changes. The swinging shackle under the breech of the barrel has been replaced with a cam cut into the chambered protrusion, similar to the principle used in the Browning High Power pistol. The magazine latch has been moved to the outer lower end of the handle. The magazine from the TT fits this pistol, except for the mismatch of the cutout for the latch. The striker is held in the bolt by a plate, and not by a transverse pin, as in a TT. The slide lag has been significantly increased. The disadvantage of the pistol is the too large radius of the arc in the back of the frame at the junction of the bolt and the handle, which presses heavily on the shooter's hand between the thumb and forefinger. It is not possible to correct this without a major change in the design of the firing mechanism. The locking method is according to the Browning High Power scheme. Currently, the production of the Type 68 pistol has been discontinued, TACTICAL - TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Caliber - 7, 62 mm
The used cartridge - 7, 62x25 TT
Bullet muzzle velocity - 395 m / s
Weapon length - 182 mm
Barrel length - 100 mm
Height - 132 mm
Weight - 0, 79/0, 85 kg
Magazine capacity - 8 rounds
On the basis of the Browning pistol of the 1900 model, the Type-64 pistol is produced using the Browning cartridge 7, 65 × 17 HR. Except for the name, the Korean pistol is fully consistent with its prototype.
The action of the automatic pistol "Type 64" is based on the use of recoil energy. It has a fixed barrel and a massive breechblock. The return spring is located above the barrel. The magazine is designed for 7 rounds. The sighting device is stationary, the destructive range is 30 m. The fuse is located on the left side of the handle and is activated by the thumb of the right hand. In addition to the standard model, there is a version with a silencer that is screwed onto the barrel thread. This weapon has a shortened bolt body.
TACTICAL - TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Caliber - 7, 65 mm
Used cartridge - 7, 65x17HR
Bullet muzzle velocity - 290 m / s
Weapon length - 171 mm
Barrel length - 102 mm
Weapon height - 122 mm
Curb weight - 0, 624 kg
Magazine capacity - 7 rounds
Pistol Baekdusan ("Pektusan") - North Korean copy of the Czechoslovakian CZ-75 pistol
TACTICAL - TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Caliber - 9 mm
Applicable cartridge - 9 × 19 mm Parabellum
Bullet muzzle velocity - 315 m / s
Weapon length - 206 mm
Barrel length - 120 mm
Weapon height - 138 mm
Curb weight - 1, 12 kg
Magazine capacity - 15 rounds
"premium version" of the Baekdusan pistol
In addition to pistols of their own production, the armament consists of Soviet PMs and their Chinese counterpart - "Type 59".
Chinese clone PM - "Type 59"
The DPRK special forces units are armed with the Czechoslovakian submachine gun Vz. 61 "Scorpion" and its modification with a silencer.
a dummy at the Seoul War Museum depicting a North Korean submarine saboteur with a Vz submachine gun. 61 "Scorpio"
Submachine guns PPSh-41 and PPS-43, as well as their Chinese and North Korean counterparts, as well as Chinese copies of the American M-3A1- "Type 36" are currently removed from service and transferred to the units of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Guard (RKKG), which is the North Korean counterpart of the people's militia.
North Korean women members of the RKKG with PPS-43 submachine guns at the parade in honor of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, July 28, 2013
In the DPRK, under the designation "Type-63", the Soviet self-loading carbine SKS-45 was also produced. The carbine was produced in three versions: with a needle bayonet, similar to the Chinese "Type 56", with a bladed bayonet, with an elongated barrel equipped with a barrel grenade launcher, similar to the Yugoslavian Zastava M59 / 66 carbine. Moreover, unlike the Yugoslav version, in the North Korean version, the barrel attachment for firing rifle grenades could be removed. At present, Type 63 carbines are being removed from service by the KPA and transferred to the RKKG, and are also used as ceremonial weapons.
North Korean self-loading carbine "Type 63"
honor guard of the KPA with carbines "Type 63" in "ceremonial" performance
Of course, the main small arms of the KPA are the Kalashnikov assault rifle. The first to appear were Chinese copies of the AK-47 under the designation "Type 56".
Chinese copy of AK-47- "Type 56"
The North Korean comrades were satisfied with the assault rifles they received, and already in 1958 at the state plant No. 22, the production of copies of the Soviet AK-47 under the name "Type-58" and its landing version "Type 58B", made of stamped steel with a folding butt, was launched.
North Korean copy of AK-47 - Type 58 assault rifle
KPA fighters with Type 58 assault rifles
The North Korean assault rifles were rather crude in terms of the finish quality, however, like their Soviet counterparts, they were quite reliable and fired in any conditions.
In 1968, at the DPRK arms factories, the production of a modernized Kalashnikov assault rifle, called "Type 68" and its version with a folding stock "Type 68B", was launched. The North Korean AKM differed from the prototype in that its trigger was more curved. The folding metal shoulder rest had a different shape, while the Type 68B was lighter than any modification of the Soviet AKMS assault rifle.
KPA fighters with Type 68 assault rifles
a North Korean fighter at the post with a "parade" variant of the "Type 68B" assault rifle
On some "Type 68" assault rifles, a barrel attachment was put on, allowing to shoot rifle grenades, similar to the Yugoslav version of the AKM - "Zastava M70".
According to rough estimates, at least 50 million units of Type 58, Type 68 and their modifications have been produced in the DPRK, and this is about 25 million people in the country. Currently, these samples are being actively removed from the KPA armament and transferred to the RKKG, being replaced by a copy of the AK-74, chambered for 5, 45x39 mm, which has become the main small arms of the KPA soldiers, the production of which was started in 1988 under the designation "Type 88".
For a long time, due to the fact that the leaders of the WPK (Workers' Party of Korea) were stubborn people and did not differ in the spirit of bargaining inherent in the Romanian or Chinese leadership, North Korean weapons were very rare in the world. However, recently, due to the catastrophic shortage of freely convertible currency, the DPRK began to rather actively sell stocks of 7, 62x39 mm caliber assault rifles.
"Type 88" (in other sources there is the designation "Type 98") is a copy of the AK-74, but there are minor changes in the design: a different shape of the butt, the Type 88A variant (analogous to the AKS-74), similar to the GDR MPi-74., Metal stores identical in design to stamped magazines of the AK assault rifle.
Some of the assault rifles have a wooden body kit, and some of the weapons have plastic fittings, like the AK-74M. That is, it is most likely imported from Russia. In the early versions, the forend was made of wood, the stock was made of plastic. On modern versions, both the forend and the butt are plastic.
It is possible to mount the Type 88 grenade launcher (a copy of the GP-25 Koster).
Once again, I draw your attention to an interesting phenomenon - in the DPRK army, parade units, as well as distinguished fighters, have polished chrome weapons.
distinguished soldier of the KPA army with a chrome-plated "Type 88" assault rifle, handed to him by Kim Jong-un, when visiting a military unit
Various types of sights have been created in the DPRK for Type 88 assault rifles.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with a Type 88 assault rifle with a telescopic sight
However, recently the North Koreans again managed to surprise the whole world. A photo appeared in which Kim Jong-un, the leader of the DPRK, communicates with the people, and is accompanied by the military, armed with unusual machine guns with auger magazines made in the form of a long cylinder.
Experts believe that this weapon is nothing more than a North Korean variation on the AK theme. The weapons blog TFB estimates that the new auger magazine has a capacity of 75-100 rounds. There are no details yet regarding this North Korean modification of the Kalashnikov-type assault rifle. In particular, it is not known whether the North Korean leader's security assault rifles are equipped with auger magazines or whether this is a common combined-arms modification.
In the auger magazine, the cartridges are located parallel to its axis in a spiral. In such a magazine, cartridges are fed bullets forward along a special spiral guide (auger) by an additionally cocked spring. Auger magazines have the highest relative capacity.
When entering the territory of South Korea, DPRK special forces fighters use unlicensed Chinese copies of American M-16-CQ 5, 56 automatic rifles and Colt M4-CQ-M4 carbines (5.56)
So, among the weapons of the dead North Korean special forces from a submarine carrying out a reconnaissance mission in the territorial waters of South Korea, and inadvertently running aground near the coast near the city of Gangneung on the night of September 18, 1996, a North Korean submarine, in addition to Kalashnikov assault rifles, were found Chinese assault rifles CQ 5, 56.
North Korean sailors and commandos decided to break through to their homeland, but were noticed by a local taxi driver. For several weeks, tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers combed the surrounding mountains in search of them. Killed 12 North Korean special forces and 5 crew members of the submarine, and the surrounded North Koreans committed suicide. Of the special forces themselves, by the way, none of them surrendered. With incredible difficulty, the armada of pursuers managed to capture only one of the northerners - Li Kwang-su. The South Koreans suffered incomparably large losses - the total number of casualties came close to 140, and in a ratio of almost 1: 1 in terms of the number of killed and wounded, in addition, 4 American soldiers died. A few years later, according to information leaked to the South Korean press from local intelligence, it became known that the only survivor of that ill-fated boat, a North Korean special forces soldier, even being wounded in the stomach, managed to pass the heavily fortified demilitarized zone and return to his homeland, where he was accepted as hero. Moreover, the submarine team itself, as we are sure now, was shot immediately after disembarking by their own commandos. Probably the commandos considered that the sailors, due to their poor physical fitness, would not be able to go back and might surrender. The government of the Republic of Korea paid the taxi driver who discovered the North Koreans a reward of several hundred thousand dollars.
The end follows …