On 25 June, 1950, the DPRK invaded the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in a war for the unification of the nation. Due to immediate United Nations military action this invasion was unsuccessful. An armistice agreement was signed between the UN forces and the forces of the DPRK and the People’s Republic of China on 27 July, 1953 at the border village of Panmun-jŏm, effectively ending the war. No treaty of peace was signed then or since that time. On 25 June, 1959, the DPRK government issued four stamps which focussed on the goals of national unification and the removal of UN (mostly American) troops from the ROK. These stamps were in the values of 10 chŏn, 20 chŏn (two issues), and 70 chŏn.
The 10 chŏn issue is a very simple, plain design. The stamp has an outer white frame and an inner blue frame which surrounds the depiction of the building in Panmun-jŏm where the armistice agreement was signed. A staggered, two-line slogan is given at the top, which reads ‘6.25 남조선으로부터 / 미군 철거를 위한 투쟁의 날’ (25 June The Day of Fighting for the Removal of American Troops from South Chosŏn). The value of the stamp is given in the lower right-hand corner, and in the lower left-hand corner there is the phrase ‘조선우표’ (Korean postage). In the upper right-hand corner of the inset design the name of the village of Panmun-jŏm is given. In the upper-left hand corner of the design a dove of peace is clearly seen, and there is one or possibly two other doves which are obscured.
The DPRK Government chose to reinterpret the date of the invasion of south Korea as a national day for the removal of American troops from the ROK. The depiction of the building where the armistice was signed is used as a symbol of peace, an idea which is reinforced by the display of a ‘dove’ – a traditional peace symbol. The fact that the date is actually the date of the northern invasion of the south is ignored, and no direct reference is made to the unification of the nation. ‘Unity’ is indicated by the use of the name ‘South Chosŏn’ for south Korea which refers to itself as ‘Han’guk’; ‘Chosŏn’ is the name north Korea uses to refer to itself.