Kim Jong-un has posed with gun-toting military leaders to mark 67 years since the end of the Korean War.
The North Korean leader had given the commemorative pistols to his leading commanding officers in a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, signed on July 27 1953.
The pistols, known as “Paektusan”, were conferred by the leader to dozens of senior officers, who pledged their loyalty to him, state media reported.
They were pictured surrounding the leader with the weapons held in front of their chests.
The ceasefire, signed after three years of war, left the peninsula divided and many families split by the so-called Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
Elsewhere, North Korean citizens have reportedly been forced to eat terrapins due to food shortages.
The hermit kingdom has found itself in the grips of famine since tightening its borders even more than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move has tipped many citizens over the edge into destitution, with millions having already been on the breadline for years due to governmental mismanagement and UN sanctions.
North Korean trade has been targeted due to Kim Jong Un’s drive for nuclear weapons.
In a bid to help its citizens stave their hunger, the government’s website Naenara has advised people to eat terrapins.
“From olden times, terrapin has been used in making haute cuisine for its good taste and abundant nutrient component,” the website says, The Sun reported.
“It has various essential nutrient components including protein, essential amino acid and vitamin efficacious for curing hepatitis, hypertension and other diseases.
“Its blood, carapace and bone are widely used as materials of Koryo medicines.
“In particular, its blood is efficacious for diabetes and weak children.”
It is recommended that terrapins are served raw or made into broths, stews or porridges.
The North Korean economy is having one of its worst years in recent history.
In 2016 UN sanctions came into force, blocking almost all of its trading routes aside from those with China.
Prior to the pandemic Chinese trade with North Korea accounted for 95% of all global trade with the country.
In March and April this year Sino-North Korean trade fell by 90% after the border was closed, The Diplomat reported.
Many daily necessities such as cooking oil, flour and rice have not been able to flow into the country as a result.
According to the UN Rapporteur, over 40 percent of North Koreans “were already food insecure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them suffering malnutrition and stunted growth.”