Orders and medals of North Korea

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The award system of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) was initially created less than one month after the foundation of the Republic. During the years of Japanese Occupation of North Korea, many of the future leaders fled to the Soviet Union. During World War II many if not close to all party leaders and KPA commanders served in the Soviet Army and as such adopted many of the Soviet Awards criteria for their own. During the late 1940s and until the Sino-Soviet Split in late 1958, orders and titles where made in the Soviet Money Mints in Moscow or Leningrad. Soviet made awards were modeled after Soviet orders and made of Sterling Silver. Initially the Orders were attached to clothing with a screw-plate, but after Soviet production stopped, production was moved to North Korea. The Screwback was replaced with a pin and the silver content was replaced by cheap tin. With the exception of a few examples of modern orders, Soviet and Czech KPA awards are the most sought after in current militaria markets.

Titles[edit]

Award
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description
Gold Star KNDR.png
Hero of the Republic (ko)
공화국영웅
Konghwaguk Yeongung
1950-06-30 The "Hero of the Republic" was the highest award of the Democratic People's Republic Of Korea until the Order of Kim Il-Sung was established in 1972. Awarded for extreme heroic exploits during war. The recipient is also awarded with the Order of the National Flag 1st Class which was the nation's highest Order until the Order of Kim Il-Sung Along with the Gold Star and Order the Recipient is also honoured with the erection of a personal statue at their birthplace. This award is based upon the Soviet award "Hero of the Soviet Union".
Labor Hero of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.svg
Hero of Labour (ko)
로력영웅
Roryeok Yeongung
1951-07-17 This title was the highest civilian award until the establishment of the Order of Kim Il-Sung in 1972. Awarded for exceptional merit and efficiency in professional labour. The recipient of this title was also awarded the Order of the National Flag 1st Class which was also the nation's highest order until the Order of Kim Il-Sung This award is based upon the Soviet award "Hero of Socialist Labour".

Orders[edit]

Order And Ribbon
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description

PRK Order of Kim Il Sung BAR.png
Order of Kim Il-sung
김일성 훈장
Kim Il-Sung Hunchang
1972-03-20 The Order of Kim Il-sung is the highest decoration of the country. It is awarded for contributions to the revolution or upholding the dignity of the country home or abroad. It is usually awarded around April 15 (Day of the Sun, the birthday of Kim Il-sung). Kim Jong-il was its first recipient.[1]

PRK Order of Kim Il Sung BAR.png
Order of Kim Jong-il
김정일 훈장
Kim Jong-il Hunchang
2012-02-03

With the issuance of Decree 2150 by the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly on February 3, 2012, the Order of Kim Jong-il was created for the 70th anniversary of his birth. The order measures 67mm in length and 65mm in width. It features the portrait of Kim Jong-il in the center of golden ear of rice above a shining five-point star, the flag of the DPRK below and the emblem of the Workers' Party of Korea above with an engraving of "Order of Kim Jong-il" on the back with pin and serial number. It is made to give commendation to officials, service personnel, working people, military units, organs, enterprises, and organizations who made distinguished services for the DPRK. The order ribbon is similar to the Order of Kim Il-sung in the color and the star at the center, but its design is different.

PRK Order of the National Flag - 1st Class BAR.png
Order of the National Flag
1st Class

국기훈장
제1급

Kukki Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1948-10-02 Until the creation of the Order of Kim Il-sung in 1972, the highest order of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The ONF was based on the awarding criteria as the Soviet Order of the Badge of Honor. Awards were present to those that exemplified themselves in the fields of Science, Economics, and teachings of Socialist Ideologies.[citation needed]

PRK Order of the National Flag - 2nd Class BAR.png
Order of the National Flag
2nd Class

국기훈장
제2급

Kukki Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1948-10-02 Order ribbon has 2 gold stripes indicating 2nd Class.
PRK Order of the National Flag - 3rd Class BAR.png
Order of the National Flag
3rd Class

국기훈장
제3급

Kukki Hunchang
Ge Sam Geup
1948-10-02 Order ribbon has 3 small gold stripes indicating 3rd Class.

KoreanLabourRibbon.jpg
Order of Korean Labour
조선로력훈장
Choseon Roryeok Hunchang
1951-07-17 For efficient and meritorious professional labour.
OrderOfSoldier'sHonour1Ribbon.jpg
Order of Soldier's Honour
1st Class

전사영예훈장
제1급

Cheonsa Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1950-06-25 For acts of individual gallantry in combat
OrderOfSoldier'sHonour2Ribbon.jpg
Order of Soldier's Honour
2nd Class

전사영예훈장
제2급

Cheonsa Yeongye Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1950-06-25 For acts of individual gallantry in combat
AdmiralOrder1.jpg
Order of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin
1st Class

이순신장군훈장
제1급

Yi Sun-Shin Changgun Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1950-07-13 Conferred to flag officers and navy commanders for outstanding leadership.
AdmiralOrder2.jpg
Order of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin
2nd Class

이순신장군훈장
제2급

Yi Sun-Shin Changgun Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1950-07-13 Conferred to flag officers and navy commanders for outstanding leadership.
FreedomAndIndependence1Ribbon.jpg
Order of Freedom and Independence
1st Class

자유독립훈장
제1급

Sayu Dokryb Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1951-07-17 The original screwplate or pin back awards were given to Division, Corp or Army field commanders for achievement in battle. The medal was awarded to commanders in both the KPA and the PLA. During the Reign of Kim Jong Il, the award became a necktie style and given for more political reasons then battle.
FreedomAndIndependence2Ribbon.jpg
Order of Freedom And Independence
2nd Class

자유독립훈장
제2급

Sayu Dokryb Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1951-07-17 Awarded to Regiment or lower formation commanders for skill in battle. Much like the 1st Class version it was awarded for actions during the Korean War to both Chinese and Korean soldiers. Current, it has since been changed to a necktie version and has lost its battlefield prestige.
Order of Military Service Honour
1st Class

군사복무영예훈장
제1급

Gunsa Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1973-07-03
Order of Military Service Honour
2nd Class

군사복무영예훈장
제2급

Gunsa Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1973-07-03
Order of Military Service Honour
3rd Class

군사복무영예훈장
제3급

Gunsa Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Sam Geup
1973-07-03
Order of Colliery Service Honour
1st Class

석탄광업복무영예훈장
제1급

Seoktan Gwangeop Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1973-09-03
Order of Colliery Service Honour
2nd Class

석탄광업복무영예훈장
제2급

Seoktan Gwangeop Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1973-09-03
Order of Colliery Service Honour
3rd Class

석탄광업복무영예훈장
제3급

Seoktan Gwangeop Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Sam Geup
1973-09-03
Order of Military Engineering Service Honour
10 Years

군수공복무영예훈장
10

Gunsugong Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
10
Order of Military Engineering Service Honour
20 Years

군수공복무영예훈장
20

Gunsugong Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
20
Order of Military Engineering Service Honour
30 Years

군수공복무영예훈장
30

Gunsugong Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
30
Awarded to veteran military engineers, enlisted, NCOs and officers in the KPA for 30 years service in military engineering service
Order of Fishery Service Honour
1st Class

수산복무영예훈장
제1급

Susan Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
Order of Fishery Service Honour
2nd Class

수산복무영예훈장
제2급

Susan Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge I Geup
Order of Railway Service Honour
1st Class

철도복무영예훈장
제1급

Cheoldo Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
Order of Railway Service Honour
2nd Class

철도복무영예훈장
제2급

Cheoldo Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge I Geup
Order of Railway Service Honour
3rd Class

철도복무영예훈장
제3급

Cheoldo Bongmu Yeongye Hunchang
Ge Sam Geup
Order of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Friendship 1st Class
조선민주주의인민공화국친선훈장
제1급

Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Chinseon Hunchang
Ge Il Geup
1985 Awarded only to Non-Nationals. Including;

Antonio InokiJapan on 2010-09-15


Order of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Friendship 2nd Class
조선민주주의인민공화국친선훈장
제2급

Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Chinseon Hunchang
Ge I Geup
1985 Awarded only to Non-Nationals. Including;
Alejandro Cao de Benos Spain,[2]
Norbert Vollertsen Germany in 1999[3]
Ellsworth Culver United States on 2006-01-10[4]
Liu Xiaoming China on 2010-02-03.[5]

Order of the Red Banner Of Three Great Revolutions
3대혁명붉은기훈장
3 Dae Hyeongmyeong Bulgeun Ki Hunchang
1986-11-20

Commemorative Orders[edit]

Order And Ribbon
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description
Commemorative Order "Anniversary of the Foundation of the People's Army"
조선인민군창건기념훈장
Chosŏn Inmin'gun Changgeon Ginyeom Hunchang
1968-01-25
This ordered was originally dated 1968.2.8. for the 20th anniversary and also a screw-back (The only screw-back commemorative order), later variations are pin back and undated for the 40th and 50th anniversaries. This order could be awarded to an individual up to three times, especially if he/she is a veteran or retired officer or NCO of the KPA in recognition of services given to the country.

Commemorative Order "20th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Democratic People's Republic Of Korea"
조선민주주의인민공화국창건20주년기념훈장
Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Changgeon 20 Chunyeon Ginyeom Hunchang
1968-05-24
This order was awarded only once per recipient and dated 1968.9.9. on the reverse. Awarded to people who helped found the DPRK in 1948 as well as those who contributed to national defense, development and progress in the past 20 years.

Commemorative Order "Foundation of the Democratic People's Republic Of Korea"
조선민주주의인민공화국창건기념훈장
Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Changgeon Ginyeom Hunchang
1978
This commemorative order was issued on the 30th and 40th anniversaries of the foundation of the DPRK. It was only awarded a maximum of twice to a single recipient. The obverse of this order is identical to the 20th Anniversary Commemorative Order but is not dated on the reverse.
Commemorative Order "40th Anniversary Of Fatherland Liberation War Victory"
조국해방전쟁승리40돐기념훈장
Choguk Haebang Chǒnjaeng Seungni 40 Dol Ginyeom Hunchang
1993
Commemorative Order "5th March"
3월5일기념훈장
3 Wol 5 Il Ginyeom Hunchang
1986-03-03
Commemorative Order "30th Anniversary of the Agricultural Presentation"
농촌데제발표30돐년기념훈장
Nong Chonde Chebal Pyo 30 Dolnyeon Ginyeom Hunchang
1990
Commemorative Order "60th Anniversary of the People's Army"
조선인민군창건60돐기념훈장
Chosŏn Inmin'gun Changgeon 60 Dol Ginyeom Hunchang
1992
Commemorative Order "Capital Construction"
수도건설기녕훈장
Sudo Geonseol Ginyeong Hunchang
1992
Commemorative Order "50th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Democratic People's Republic Of Korea"
조선민주주의인민공화국창건50돐년기념훈장
Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Changgeon 50 Chunyeon Ginyeom Hunchang
1998
Commemorative Order "60th Year Anniversary Of the Fatherland Liberation War Victory"
조국해방전쟁승리60돐기념훈장
Choguk Haebang Chǒnjaeng Seungni 60 Dol Ginyeom Hunchang
2013
The newest state commemorative medal, issued to all Korean War veterans

Medals[edit]

Medal And Ribbon
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description

Medal For Military Merits (ko)
군공메달
Gungong Medal
1949-07-13 Awarded for more than 500,000 Koreans and more than 400,000 Chinese during the Korean War.[6]

Medal For Merits
공로메달
Gongno Medal
1949-07-13 Awarded for meritorious labour service.
Medal Of Military Service Honour
군사복무영예메달
Gunsa Bongmu Yeongye Medal
1973-07-03
Medal For Agricultural Merits
농업공로메달
Nongeop Gongno Medal
1974-12-24
Medal Of Democratic People's Republic Of Korea Friendship
조선민주주의인민공화국친선메달
Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Chinseon Medal
1985
National Reunification Prize
1990

Commemorative Medals[edit]

Medal And Ribbon
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description
Medal "For The Liberation Of Korea" Ribbon
Korea 15.8.1945 (ru)
조선 1945.8.15
Choseon 1945.8.15 [7][unreliable source]
1948-10-16[6] Awarded for participation in the Korean independence armies. 10,000 awarded by 1949.[6]
Commemorative Medal "Great Fatherland Liberation War 1950–1953" Ribbon
Commemorative Medal "Great Fatherland Liberation War 1950–1953"
위대한조국해방전쟁을기념메달 1950–1953
Widaehan Chogu Kaebang Chǒnjaeng Eul Ginyeom Medal 1950–1953
1953-08-15 Awarded to all active and reserve enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, officers, generals and admirals of the KPA who participated in the Korean War of 1950-53
Commemorative Medal "Participation In The Fatherland Liberation War 1950–1953"
조국해방전쟁참전기념메달 1950–1953
Chogu Kaebang Chǒnjaeng Chamjeon Ginyeom Medal 1950–1953
1953-08-15 Awarded to all active and reserve enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, officers, generals and admirals of the KPA who participated in the Korean War of 1950-53
Commemorative Medal "Fatherland Liberation" Ribbon
Commemorative Medal "Fatherland Liberation"
조국해방기녕메달
Chogu Kaebang Ginyeom Medal
Commemorative Medal "The Foundation of the People's Republic Of Korea"
조선민주주의인민공화국창건기녕메달
Chosŏn Inmin'gun Changgeon Ginyeom Medal
Commemorative Medal "20th Anniversary Of Chongryon (General Association Of Korean Residents In Japan)"
20총련기녕메달
20 Chongryon Changgeon Ginyeom Medal
1975-05-20
Commemorative Medal "Cheonggang Power Plant Dam Construction"
정강산발전소건설기녕메달
Cheonggang Sanbal Cheonso Geonseol Ginyeom Medal
1990
Commemorative Medal "Capital Construction"
수도건설기녕메달
Sudo Geonseol Ginyeong Medal
1992
Commemorative Medal "Pyongyang-Nampho Highway Construction"
평양-남포고속도로건설기녕메달
Pyongyang-Nampho Gosokttoro Geonseol Ginyeong Medal
Commemorative Medal "Military Parade"
열병식기녕메달
Yeolbyeongsik Ginyeong Medal
Awarded to military units taking part in the various military parades in commemoration of state holidays.

Badges[edit]

Medal And Ribbon
Name
(English/Korean/Transliteration)
Date Created
Description
Commemorative Badge "20th Anniversary of the Foundation of the People's Army"
조선인민군창건20주년기념휘장
Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk Changgeon 20 Chunyeon Ginyeom Hwichang
1968-02-08
Cholima Honour Badge
전리마 영예 휘장
Cholima Yeongye Hwichang
1968

Prizes[edit]

Honorary titles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yonhap News Agency (27 December 2002). North Korea Handbook. Seoul: M.E. Sharpe. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5. 
  2. ^ "Democratic People's Republic of Korea_Juche Korea". korea-dpr.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Past news". kcna.co.jp. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ellsworth Culver honored by North Korea for life's work | Mercy Corps". mercycorps.org. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "DPRK awards friendship medal to Chinese ambassador CCTV-International". english.cctv.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Weiser, Martin (8 January 2016). "Chests Full of Brass: A DPRK Political History in Orders, Medals, Prizes, and Titles". Sino-NK. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  7. ^ ru:Медаль «За освобождение Кореи»
  8. ^ a b c Michael Breen (1 February 2012). Kim Jong-Il, Revised and Updated: Kim Jong-il: North Koreas Dear Leader, Revised and Updated Edition. John Wiley & Sons. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-118-15377-2. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Kim Da Seul (22 June 2012). "Kim Il Sung's Image on Medals Changed". dailynk.com. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Asian Football Business Review: North Korea's winning U-20 women receive awards". asianfootballbusiness.com. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  11. ^ James Hoare (13 July 2012). Historical Dictionary of Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Scarecrow Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-8108-6151-0. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Sin Sik Chai; Jong Hun Hyon (1980). Cultural policy in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Unesco. p. 37. ISBN 978-92-3-101645-5. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Valérie Gelézeau; Koen De Ceuster; Alain Delissen (2 May 2013). De-Bordering Korea: Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy. Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-136-19253-1. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Moranbong Middle School No. 1". naenara.com.kp. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 

Sources[edit]

  • Boik, William A. (2008). Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Springfield, VA: DBMPress.com. ISBN 978-0-615-19087-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cabral, David L. (1994). Orders and Decorations of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. [Glassboro, N.J.]: Orders and Medals Society of America. OCLC 35914051. 
  • Sessler, Warren E.; McDaniel, Paul (2009). Military and Civil Awards of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Henderson, Nevada: Sessler Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-615-28482-8. 

External links[edit]