North Korean postal history during the Korean War 1950-1953 (II)

North Korea

This article was originally published in The London Philatelist, Volume 123 Issue 1416 in June 2014. It is reprinted here with permission of the author, Anthony Bard, who besides being a member of the RPSL is also a member of the KSS. He is well-known for his highly specialized North Korea collection. The article is published on the KSS website in three parts. This is part II. 

Military Mail
The KPA issued two military postcards at some time prior to the commencement of the Korean War. These differed only in the description of the sender’s location: one type reads ‘postal section’, the other ‘field post section’. Examples used during the war period are scarce, and are generally in very poor condition. One example of an illustrated KPA card has also been recorded used. Incoming mail to KPA post box addresses occasionally received strikes of the KPA unit’s postal chop, but no indication of the army unit was permitted in these communications. In early 1953 a huge propaganda campaign resulted in huge numbers of postcards being sent to the USSR and PRC, extolling the virtues of relations between North Korea and these countries. School students and military cadets wrote the cards. A number of ‘cancellations’ were prepared exclusively for use on these mass mailings. A standard undated circular cachet was introduced for censorship purposes, and is chiefly seen on POW mail during the war period.

Figure 11. 4 April 1952 incoming cover from Heilin, People’s Republic of China.

Figure 11 shows an incoming cover from Heilin, PRC to the KPA dated 4 April 1952. The cover took over a month to reach its destination, where it received a strike of the KPA section chop numbered ‘159’ (incorrectly showing the year date ‘51’).

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Anthony Bard
I collect North and South Korean Postal History from 1945, focusing on the Korean War and the countries involved in the conflict and post-Armistice commissions. I live in London.

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