Some Confusing North Korea (DPRK) Souvenir Sheets of 1976

Q&A

Some of the types of souvenir sheets of North Korea issued in 1976 are confusing to me when trying to identify them. There may have already been articles on this topic that I have not seen, but I hope that some of our Korea Stamp Society members can answer some of my questions. One example of these souvenir sheets is Scott catalog number 1436, issued on March 12, 1976, commemorating the 100 anniversary of the telephone. It shows an antique telephone and a communications satellite. Scott mentions that it was issued “imperf, without gum”.

I have seen cancelled-to-order (CT) imperforated souvenir sheets, and mint sheets that are both imperforated and perforated.

What is strange is that some of the souvenir sheets are cut according to that type as seen in the image in Fig. 1, with no margin, and another type is cut with a white margin as seen in the image in Fig. 2.

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4 thoughts on “Some Confusing North Korea (DPRK) Souvenir Sheets of 1976

  1. Would love to see some actually ran non-commercial domestic North Korean mail with these stamps (or other such stamps from this era). Has anyone got any examples? I guess not, these stamps were purely made for international sale only, but if a few managed to “escape” into the country I would love to see them on cover. Anyone?

  2. The UIT sheets (and many others from this period) were printed in relatively small quantities and all numbered.
    This is for both types, perf and imperf. I have no idea why Scott mentioned Imperf only.
    Due to collector demand, there were 2nd and maybe 3rd, 4th and even more printings made but all these printings didn’t have the black digits anymore!
    So, in my opinion, only the s/s with #’s are the “real” issues and the rest are printed years and sometimes many years later!
    The last time I was in the KSC printing house I saw them printing new issues and stamps and s/s of many years ago.

    1. That’s an interesting observation! Looking at the images above, would it be safe to say figs 1 and 2 are “reprints” and figs 3 and 4 are (probably) originals? If so, then the cancellations on figs 1 and 2 must have been added to make them look like they were issued/produced in 1976…?

  3. Your observation is right; the #3 and 4 are the only originals!
    The others with/without margins, with/without cancellations, perf and imperf were all printed after the first NUMBERED issue.
    The “cancellations” on the reprints are always added within the printing process. (with a “first-day” “cancellation”)
    The only genuine used examples I have seen were on large FDC’s, used in combination with the UIT set of stamps perforated or on another FDC imperforated. All these covers carried numbered sheetlets!
    The question about printing houses and machines: there is only ONE printing house but there are different machines but I think it’s impossible to find out if different machines were used during time.

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