We received a message from one of our readers, Peter, who has two questions. One is on the KoreaPost international stamp sales website and the inability to actually order something through that website, a point raised quite often by both KSS members and visitors of the KSS website. The other question is on North Korean modern day stamp issue politics: are these stamps “for real” (as in: meant for actual postal use within the DPRK?) or not?
Here are the two questions:
I am a philatelist and have two questions about Korean philately:
1. Has anyone had success using Korea Post’s (South Korea’s) online stamp shop (koreastamp.go.kr)? The website’s functionality and accessibility seems to be very sporadic. Using the English version as I don’t speak Korean, I am often unable to add items to the shopping cart, and even when I can, I am unable to checkout because it won’t allow me to scroll down after I add a certain number of items to the cart. I contacted Korea Post’s philatelic department via e-mail but they are unable to be of any help. They sent a user guide for their site which is for Internet Explorer, an outdated browser that I don’t have. Is there any other way to order from Korea Post from abroad, such as by e-mail with credit card?
2. About modern and recent issues of DPRK, are they really considered and used as postage stamps within the country or are they just produced for sales to foreign collectors by the Korea Stamp Corporation, much like the wallpaper that stamp agents like IGPC produce for mostly African, Caribbean, and some South Pacific countries? Also, how do the prices DPRK stamp emissions sold by the Korea Stamp Corporation compare to actual face value? (I believe they are sold in Euros). The issues seem excessive and aimed at collectors as most issues have imperforated varieties, booklets, postal stationery, etc. Basically, I’m wondering if most DPRK issues after the early ones are worth collecting from a value perspective.
Thank you for your help.
Please leave your ideas and answers in the comment section below.