North Korea

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Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)

The official name is Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK - 조선민주주의인민공화국 in Korean). Formed in 1948 when the whole of Korean peninsular was divied in two parts: South Korea and North Korea (the latter supported by USSR, the former by USA). North Korea attacked South Korea in 1950 and the war raged until 1953 when it ended with an armistice - so technically the Korean War has not yet ended.

Most of the photos below showing North Korean soldiers probably comes from KCNA - the North Korean news agency [1]

Since North Korea is one of the most closed countries in the world few - if any - uniforms are owned by collectors.

The North Korean People's Army is abbreviated KPA.

North Korean camouflage patterns

  • The Soviet M1944 TTsMKK tricolour disprutive pattern was used for one-piece coveralls and issued to some North Korean units during the 1960s and 1970s.



  • A "duck hunter" or spot pattern, similar to that produced by China was also worn, probably during 1970s and 1980s. The pattern consists of two colours on a pale green background.



  • Another spot or "blotch" pattern of four colors is seen below, circa 1990s.


  • A seldom-seen vertical stripe pattern is seen below, worn by soldiers on the right side of the photograph; the other soldiers wear a leaf pattern (see below). This design appears to be of Chinese origin, the same pattern as reputedly issued to Armed Police units during the 1980s and 1990s.

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  • A leaf camouflage design, dating to the current era is seen here.


  • This woodland-style camouflage has been observed in common usage, even as helmet covers on ceremonial troops wearing service dress uniforms.

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  • The mountain troops seen below are wearing a woodland-based camouflage designed for snow-covered and mountainous regions.


  • Photographic evidence suggests the pattern below was introduced in the 2016-17 period, in use with both conventional troops and special operations forces. The design is inspired by woodland pattern, incorporating black, brown and blue-grey shapes on a light grey background.


  • Also introduced in the 2016-17 period, tactical vest covers in a pixelated camouflage design of unknown origins. There is no evidence that other uniform items have been issued in this design.