Some anniversaries are advertised wider than other anniversaries


October 2021 marked 70 years of the Korea Stamp Society! Really, it did. But did you know about it? Probably not, if only for the simple reason that until then nobody had advertised this fact. (We did in Korean Philately, have a look at the Q4 2021 edition!) Here are two other anniversaries related to Korea which were celebrated through stamps.

Fig. 1: Unissued 1976 postcard design for the 65th birthday of Kim Il-Sung. (From Willem van der Bijl’s collection.)

One is the birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the first (and according to North Korean official ideology “eternal”) president of North Korea. Kim was born on 15 April 1912, which is the 4.15 on the unissued red card. The 4.15 is written inside a sun, because Kim is seen in the DPRK as the eternal sun shining over Korea. The stamp shows the compete date: 1912.4.15. Both the card and the stamp are peaceful.

Fig. 2: Stamp for Kim Il-Sung’s birthday (1997, KSC3794A)

The other anniversary is the 50 years of the DPRK. Both South and North Korea came about in 1948. In 1998 this meant both states were 50 years old, in the case of the DPRK this meant the Korea Stamp Corporation issued this rather bubbly and happy looking stamp sheet. That was rather inappropriate when you think about it: the late 1990s were a time of very serious trouble in the DPRK, including a famine which may have killed well over a million North Korean citizens!

Fig. 3: Souvenir sheet (KSC3892B) issued in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the DPRK.
Ivo Spanjersberg
Currently KSS Publisher/Webmaster, previously KSS Chairman (2018-2019). Living in Amsterdam. I collect Korean revenue stamps, see my website:

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