North Korean Train Issue of 1976

Articles North Korea

(Originally published in KP Vol. XLV No. 4 November 1999) I have just finished a casual comparison (I say casual because I did not use a perforation gauge or measuring ruler) of the North Korean train issue of 1976, Michel numbers 1555-1561 and Block 32. The DPRK, Catalogue numbers are 1529-1534 (set), 1535 (s/s), and 1550 (m/s). I did this comparison because, recently, dealers have been complaining about receiving six stamps and not seven stamps as listed in Michel. Well, surprise; Michel has not given the proper information about this issue.

A footnote showing number 1561 as coming from a miniature sheet does not tell the whole story Gibbons gives a footnote that the issue was also available in a miniature sheet form of seven stamps and a label. Better, but not the whole story again. In fairness to Michel, I do not read German and that goes for most other American or Asian dealers. In addition, the Korea Stamp Corporation has not given any information about the printing of this issue.

Fig. 1: KSC1529 (block of four), “diesel locomotive Pulgungi”
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Originally published KP Vol. XLV No. 4 (November 1999)
This article by Bruce Casarin was originally published in Korean Philately Vol. XLV No. 4 (November 1999). The images shown here are from Yong Yi’s collection.

1 thought on “North Korean Train Issue of 1976

  1. This is a good example in studying modern DPRK stamp complexity.
    The situation can be understood easier like this way : KSC first issued a set of train stamps, 6v + 1 s/s. Later they issued a sheetlet of 7 stamps +1 label. Both stamp set and sheetlet share the same image design, so at the first glance these stamps look the same, but because they are printed separately, printing variations exist if being checked carefully.
    ( I don’t really check my collections but it seems the papers used are also different).

    The sheet composition of KSC#1529-1534 is 8×8. A collector can find complete or partial sheets of there 6 stamps like the images shown above, but technically, it is impossible to find pairs or blocks or partial sheets of KSC# 1535. All the single KSC#1535 might come from sheetlet or perforated s/s.
    To my personal opinion, I don’t think it is meaningful to categorize another extra 7 stamps out of sheetlet since they are not printed in the composition of single stamp sheet.

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