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North Korea has bought large amounts of anti-riot equipment from China in recent months, South Korea's main news agency says.
This was apparently to prepare for possible unrest in the country, it said.
The Yonhap news agency said Pyongyang had created a special police force; it had also considered buying flak jackets and other anti-riot equipment.
The United Nations says North Korea is facing severe food shortages.
An unnamed source told the Yonhap news agency that North Korea had bought