Five examples of mail sent from the USSR to the DPRK in 1950

Shown here are 5 covers sent between June and September 1950 to North Korea. Covers no. 1-4 were sent by Soviet citizens of Korean ethnicity to their relatives or friends, who were living in the territory of North Korea. The sender of the fifth cover is presumably the wife of a Soviet officer, who at […]

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The Halls of India: Christmas Seals pioneers and Christian leaders in the war against tuberculosis

Originated in Denmark, Christmas seals have become a universal symbol of the fight against tuberculosis. A story that includes an important chapter by Dr. Sherwood Hall, ‘19, and his wife, Dr. Marian Hall, the former Marian Bottomley, ’22. Going to Korea as medical missionaries in 1926, they established that country’s first tuberculosis sanatorium, for which […]

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Mao’s only son died in the Korean War

On the occasion of Mao Zedong’s 100th birthday, the Korean Stamp Corporation (DPRK) issued a series of postal stationery in honor of Mao. The cards have three-dimensional images, which is why they are quite heavy and made of plastic; but it’s not the comical “wobbly images” often seen in 3D – that would probably not […]

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Buyer Beware… Again! Korea First Issue Essay

I spotted this on an archived Delcampe sold file of a highly-questionable Dealer located in France. In my fifty-five-plus years collecting, researching and specializing in Empire Korea material I have never seen, or heard, of this item. This sold for 300 Euros. Apparently, it is the same item that was discussed in this article on […]

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Differences between the field posts of the People’s Liberation Army (1950-1960) and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in Korea (1952-1958)

The Chinese Government attached great importance to the Korean and Chinese units differing significantly from each other in formal terms. The Chinese People’s Volunteers received different troop designations, rank insignia and uniforms. Field letters from Korea were given their own troop cancellers (fig. 1), which differed from the Chinese field post letters (fig. 2).

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Reusing a 1946 postal card to create a 1950 postal ID

During the Korean War (1950-1953) and for at least a decade after the war South Korea (ROK) was counted amongst the poorest nations in the world. As late as the early 1960s the average Ethiopian or Ugandan was richer than the average South Korean. And yes, even the average North Korean was (probably) richer than […]

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ROK Samiljeol Commemorative Military Post Card used in 1952

Shown here is a military post card used in 1952. The card is a commemorative card, printed to commemorate “Samil Day”. The following extract about Samiljeol is from a 1943 booklet authored by New Ilhan entitled Korea and the Pacific War which was based on a report he prepared for the Office of Strategic Services […]

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Post cards commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo

Two post cards, part of a set commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo. These two post cards were made by the Huimangsa 希望社 · 製 for the industrial exhibition commemorating the tenth anniversary of liberation 解放十週年產業博覽會記念. This refers to August 15, 1945, commemorated in both the ROK and DPRK as the date Korea was liberated from […]

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Japanese era “directional cachets” used on New Ilhan covers leading the way to the USA

When I was writing my earlier article on New Ilhan (see KP Vol. 57 No. 1), I didn’t even realize I had more envelopes from the New Ilhan company. When I did realize, I looked around for more envelopes from New Ilhan and discovered several other items. All these envelopes must have come from the […]

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My postal experiences in the DPRK 2012 – 2013

From early August 2012 to the end of November 2013 I was stationed in Pyongyang (DPRK) for the World Food Program of the United Nations. Because of the limited international internet access allowed to the WFP national staff in the DPRK (mainly seconded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). There is also a WFP DPRK […]

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The Tatham Stamp and Coin Company and Dr. Halls TB/Christmas Seals

A 2-sided sheet containing Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Korean Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Seals from 1932-1940 caught my eye on eBay recently; it was offered by a dealer in the UK. It was produced by the Tatham Stamp and Coin Company of Springfield, Massachusetts in the USA and it is a set of seals “on approval”. When […]

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Stamp essay of 1884 5 mun stamp in Spink auction: do we know more about this item?

In Spink’s auction of 12 January 2020 a rather strange item showed up. No, the type of item is not strange, stamp essays are quite commonly available. Actually, one might even say some essays are too common, just have a look at Willem van der Bijl’s article on the subject of North Korean “artworks” in […]

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Missionary Correspondence in Colonial Korea: McCune – Hunt Letters

The three envelopes described below are small but important pieces of information about three key Presbyterian missionary families in Korea – the McCunes, the Hunts, and the Blairs. All of these families were involved in education, and became embroiled in the politics of colonial Korea under the Japanese. In particular, they and other missionaries were […]

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