Too late, but not that late

General Philatelic News

KSS has been widely known among Koreans in Korea since its establishment. I remember some writers of “Woopyo,” the monthly magazine of the Korean Philatelic Federation (KPF), sporadically mentioned KSS, mainly during the visits to the USA by KPF delegates and the visits of KSS members to KPF. At that time, we all thought that KSS was purely a USA-born organization, judging from the original members’ backgrounds, such as Christian missionaries, soldiers, and businessmen in Korea.

Now, times have changed. We were all surprised to learn that KSS is now a 100% online organization based on worldwide connections through the internet, and the majority of its members are non-Americans. One thing I have regrettably observed is that philately’s popularity is definitely declining despite the rapid expansion of its international networking in the contemporary world.

We assume that KSS is now a global platform promoting Korean philately. Recently, KSS has established its status as the most active foreign steamroller and constantly stimulates the Korean philately circles in terms of extended philatelic imagination and development. This year, KPF has had chances to contact KSS, and we can proudly announce that KSS and KPF have found great momentum to cooperate for the common goal of deepening the level of Korean philately. Many philatelic pioneers have passed away in Korea, and we find it challenging to cultivate a new generation to replace them. Consequently, we lack fresh impetus to follow up on those veterans’ achievements.

In this regard, we can find a solution from abroad, thanks to KSS, which might bring positive motivation and reasonable results we have lost domestically over the past decades. On the other hand, we hope KSS will also be able to expand its current horizon on the global online stage by linking up with KPF and other players in Korean philately. We can identify some projects for our mutual benefit as follows: first, we should share valuable articles from both KSS and KPF by translating them, so both can appeal to Korean stamp lovers worldwide in a more systematic manner.

Next, the English edition of the Korean Specialized Stamp Catalogue recently published by KPF might be the next agenda to discuss. Along with this, KPF should also create a selling mechanism for the monthly magazine “Woopyo” and other philatelic literature, including that catalogue. As far as I know, there have been constant contacts between KSS members and the Korean philatelic circle, but these have all been conducted on an individual basis, not as an organized scheme with a promising synergy effect.

I personally do not understand why KSS, KPF, or other organizations in Korea have hardly contacted each other, even though KSS has more than 70 years of history and there have been many occasions of cross encounters, even by chance. Anyway, now we have created momentum to develop an organized cooperation scheme for mutual benefit. As mentioned above, it seems to me that we have many assignments ahead of us.

However, we should try to carry out necessary tasks, from easy targets to more important projects, for the time being. I think the upcoming Philakorea 2025 will also be a great chance for both of us to deepen our relationships, not only online but also offline. I hope, by capitalizing on such a moment like Philakorea, we will be able to share more common things through physical contact with smiling faces and big handshakes.

I don’t like to use the quite banal expressions commonly spoken in Korea, such as “The beginning itself guarantees half of the accomplishment” or “One spoon cannot make the belly full,” but I hope that we will establish an enduring and long-standing mechanism between KSS and KPF as soon as possible, before it is too late.

Mr. CHO, Kwon-Haeng
President of the Philatelic Federation of Korea


Comments on Mr.Cho’s, President of the Philatelic Federation of Korea editorial, written in the June 2024 Korea Stamp Society’s Newsletter

My first reaction after reading Mr. Cho’s editorial in the Korea Stamp Society’s (KSS) June 2024 newsletter was of supreme delight! I almost immediately sent an e-mail to all the KSS Board members that Mr. Cho’s editorial was a “must” read, as it opened up the potential of being the most important event in the history of the KSS, since Ivo Spanjersberg started up the KSS website in 2018. Since one of the main goals of the KSS is to open up Korean Philately to the English speaking world, some of Mr.Cho’s comments meet that goal perfectly.

The KSS has been very impressed with the recently published  “Korean Specialized Stamp Catalogue”, created by the Philatelic Federation of Korea (KPF). We already had communications within the KSS of how we could publish, cooperating with the KPF, an English version? The KSS has been very interested in hooking up with a Korean philately network, as one of the most difficult things for KSS members is to find dealers who wish to sell to collectors outside of Korea. And of course, we want to share the KSS information and articles with the KPF; and with new information we gain from the KPF, we can spread that information and articles throughout the world by the internet. We look forward to working with the KPF in the future and the KSS hopes we will have a strong partnership.

Robert (Bob) Finder
Chairman, Korea Stamp Society

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