Observances Friday in both North and South Korea follow Kim Jong Un's surprise dismissal of his military chief and his revelation that the mystery woman at his side in public appearances this month is his wife.
The military moves are seen as an effort to build loyalty among the million-man armed forces and solidify his credentials as commander.
North Korean media said veterans have traveled to Pyongyang to commemorate the armistice's 59th anniversary.
U.S. and South Korean officials commemorated the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 war at the border village of Panmunjom.
The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war.