On a recent visit to the Yi Jun Peace Museum in The Hague (The Netherlands) something unknown showed up: a presentation folder of the 2007 stamps commemorating the centenary of the unfortunate death of Yi Jun in The Hague in 1907, a subject written about before in Korean Philately magazine.
The stamp is known quite well. Also, the booklet with the 2007 Yi Jun stamp was also known already, Stewart Steres wrote about it before. And it was known of course that the stamp had been published in a sheet. The stamp (sheet) folder for this stamp had not been shown before however. Here it is:
The (English) text inside the folder reads:
The Eulsa Treaty signed in 1905 under Japan’s coercion put Taehan Cheguk (the Empire of Korea) into the crisis of losing its national sovereignty and diplomatic privileges. Faced with this crisis, Korean Emperor Gojong dispatched in secret a cadre of special envoys made up of Lee Sang-Sol, Lee Chun, and Lee Wi-Jong to the Second Hague Peace Conference being held in The Hague. Netherlands in June 1907. Their mission was to engage in diplomatic activities aimed at appealing to the world’s great powers to invalidate the Eulsa Treaty and restore Taehan Cheguk’s national sovereignty.
Carrying Emperor Kojong’s credentials and secret messages, the suite of special convoys arrived at The Hague after two months of journey via Russia. At The Hague, they sent letters to the delegation of each country attending the Conference to elicit support to allow their participation in the Peace Conference. They also strived, through open speeches and media broadcasting, to inform the international community of the wretched situation that Korea was in.
After Japan’s interruptions stifled their plan, Lee Chun died in a fit of anger while Lee Sang-Sol and Lee Yi-Jong toured Europe, continuing to conduct diplomatic activities aimed at recovering Korea’s national sovereignty. In commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the dispatch of the special envoys to The Hague, a new stamp featuring “The Hague envoys and Emperor Kojong’s letter of proxy” is issued. The sublime spirit of these envoys who fought for their mother country’s independence and peace in faraway lands should be forever remembered.
In the Yi Jun Peace Museum there is this seen, showing a bust of Yi Jun, with the famous photo of the three delegates in the background:
The stamp folder and the booklet both contain parts of this particular document as background:
The stamp also featured on the magazine of the Philatelic Federation of Korea:
Yi Jun Peace Museum in the Hague
For more information on what happened in the Hague in 1907 have a look at the website of the Yi Jun Peace Museum or even better, simply go there yourself! While there you can get a lot of information including books etc. but also flyers in several languages:
The building itself featured on stamps too, as a matter of fact as recently as 2018:
It is not just the Republic of Korea which remembers Yi Jun. He is remembered well in both the northern and the southern part of the peninsula. Here is the stamp release from 2007 as issued in the DPRK:
With gratitude to Lee Kee Hang and Song Chang Joo, chairman and director of the Yi Jun Peace Museum, for donating the stamp sheet folder.