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2 posters

    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge

    TennoHeikaNate
    TennoHeikaNate
    Sergeant
    Sergeant


    Name : Nate
    Location : USA
    Registration date : 2013-10-16
    Number of posts : 215

    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge Empty DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge

    Post by TennoHeikaNate Fri Jan 13, 2023 3:35 am

    My only two KPA items I've acquired so far.
    First is the big ticket item, a standard issue kepi printed in a North Korean version of woodland or leaf/ERDL style camouflage.
    I accidentally missed one of these some 10 years ago being auctioned by a Chinese collector, in similar condition, and it went for only about $12...
    This one came out of Japan from a Japanese collector, and I'm wondering if it's the same one I saw a decade ago.
    There was a Chinese seller pre-COVID who sold a small amount of replica olive DPRK uniforms, as well as some Air Force, Navy, and police uniforms,
    but he went dark a few years ago, and never offered any replicas of any of the DPRK camouflage patterns. Despite trade relations, it seems all DPRK
    uniforms in collector's hands are indigenously made, though there might be some Chinese made-for-export stuff somewhere, none yet had been found.
    As collectors I'm sure you are all well aware, but as the DPRK only exports to a very limited number of countries, not much of their military equipment is seen outside the country.
    As a result, the majority of uniforms that escape are usually those worn by defectors, or secretly sold on the black market to China for extra money.
    I've heard (but can't confirm) that the ROK government keeps all military uniforms and equipment brought over by defectors for analysis and intel purposes.

    This pattern seems to have come to fruition sometime in the 2000's, probably even 90's considering several DPRK Reconnaissance Bureau black ops operatives
    were caught/killed in the 90's wearing crude knockoff ROK "Tonghab" woodland copy camouflage uniforms, equipment and western weapons, particularly during the 1996 Gangneung submarine infiltration incident.
    The kepi features a very short, stiff brim probably lined with cardboard, layers of thick construction paper, or maybe some plaster.
    It has a "chinstrap", stitched on both ends with brown plastic or Bakelite star buttons, on the front right above the bill but too tight to actually function as a chinstrap.
    It has large "ear flaps" around the majority of the cap, in which the front top corners are also permanently stitched down with brown star buttons.
    Notable the circumference of the cap, the "ear flaps", and a bit of the crown are filled with what feels like foam padding to "fill it out", similar to Soviet visor caps if you've ever handled one.
    The interior is lined with a thin, cheap black polyester or some other synthetic fabric, very thin, with the fabric covering the interior of the crown being marked with some maker's mark I can't quite read as the lettering is reversed.
    The inner crown material is stitched in place with a star pattern, and the size "7", the only other marking, is written in tailor's chalk or soapstone.
    The headband is a cheap, thin vinyl-like material, but otherwise pretty neatly cut and stitched in place.
    The camouflage fabric is very soft, feels like a majority cotton-twill, and you can see the pattern has a bit of a blur or bleed on the edges of the shapes.
    Finally the cockade, which I'll compare to my older one below, is very cheaply made out of what feels like a very thin tin, and rather than enameling like on the older cockade, this one's colors appear to be painted on.
    Also, unlike the older cockade which has two thick metal prongs to secure it like old Soviet cockades, this one has a small, thin ring on the reverse which has fabric stitching it in place.
    These kepis seem to often, but not always, have gold buttons instead of these brown ones, and have colored piping sewn around the crown and on the front, possibly to indicate branch or occupational area.
    Similarly, the lower two buttons are used to attach ornate braided chinstraps for higher ranking members.
    It seems this "plain" cap with brown buttons is actually a field cap, a bit humorous and oxymoronic considering how large and ornate it is, with the full color cockade that even today is still in use.
    This woodland pattern is seen on a variety of uniforms and equipment, especially helmet covers for the KPA copy SSh-40 type helmets, and copies of the Soviet
    tanker and VDV padded helmets.
    There has also been a fairly large variety of these woodland/leaf type patterns since the 90's with different drawings, pattern shapes, and colorations.

    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge North_12
    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge North_10
    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge North_11
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    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge North-10


    And here is the older cockade, seems to be of probably 60's or 70's production I got from a retiring insignia/patch/badge/medal collector,
    very similar build quality to period Soviet cockades with thicker, higher quality metal, maybe copper? Has some discoloration from age.
    Second is a comparison shot with a Mongolian cap badge.
    Like a fool I forgot to take a reverse shot of the KPA cockade.
    This is the general emblem of the KPA used by all branches, and not exclusive to the "Army".

    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge North_22
    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge Mongol40
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    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge 11817110


    And that's all for now!
    Feel free everyone to post anything you might have or interesting photos you've found, I do have a number of other DPRK photos of their
    other patterns, uniforms, weapons, and equipment in use, or at least on display in parades.
    Enjoy!
    -Nate
    vonstuck
    vonstuck
    Colonel
    Colonel


    Location : FRANCE
    Registration date : 2010-03-30
    Number of posts : 3310

    DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge Empty Re: DPRK KPA Woodland/Leaf Camouflage Kepi and Cap Badge

    Post by vonstuck Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:32 am

    Hello
    Thank you for the pictures
    I have exactly same cap, I post in my new but not elsewhere because I am not sure of the authenticity
    here on my website: http://vonstuckcamouflage.free.fr/north-corea.php

      Current date/time is Tue Jan 31, 2023 4:46 pm