The types of “unissued” or otherwise irregular stamps of the DPRK

In early 2019 I wrote an article for the KSS about “unissued” DPRK stamps. This showed that, in addition to the regular issued stamps, there were (and are still) many “disappeared” or “re-appeared” stamps in DPRK’s philatelic history. This short refresher article gives a bit more information as to why these stamps were treated the […]

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Story of Baron G. de Gunzburg – Russian Government Official in Chosen

(On the relationship Between Chosŏn and Russia) On October 8, 1895, Queen Myung-Sung was assassinated by the Japanese force. King Go-Jong, who was also confined at the palace Kyung-Bok, fearing for his life, wanted to escape. On November 28, 1895, the King’s first try to flee to the legation of the United States failed because […]

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When the war drums stop, so does the KSC

The Korea Stamp Corporation, the stamp issuing organization of the DPRK (North Korea), generally creates stamp along several lines of themes. One of those common themes is something along the lines of “the eternal fight for the motherland against our enemies”. The thing is: the official feelings towards these enemies, whomever they may be (usually […]

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The Story of Monsieur Charles Aleveque

Charles Aleveque (known in Korea as An Ryebaek, -晏禮百) made and distributed the first photographic postcards in Korea, published a French-Korean dictionary, and represented the Korean Government at the 1900 Paris Exposition. As a representative for a French trading company, he worked for trade between Korea and France, importing modern materials for the government of […]

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Is this a Cover from Dr. New-Ilhan, One of the Co-Founders of La Choy?

Recently when I was searching on the net for Japanese Occupation of Korea covers, I found a cover that was very interesting to me. I did a search for the sender’s name and discovered that this might be a cover with that contained a letter from New-Ilhan. His original name was Ilhyeong New.

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The Story of Monsieur Tremoulet

Following the opening of Korea’s ports to international commerce in the 1880s, the Government recognized the importance of developing modern methods of mining. On September 4, 1900, the ‘Governmental Mining School’ to promote industrial education was established. The officials of the school were to be the principal, a superintendent, four trainers, an assistant trainer, and […]

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Missionary stamp collectors on 1964 KPS membership list

In an issue of the KSS Newsletter, there was a photocopy of part of the membership list of the Korea Philatelic Society. It is interesting to note that two non-Koreans are listed as members, both missionaries. One is KSS member Dr. Lyman Hale (1922 – 2019), a physician at Severance Hospital, Seoul and a member […]

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A closer look at real and fake North Korean philatelic items (Part II)

Most stamp dealers have a specialization, some field of (philatelic) interest which make them stand apart from other dealers. But there are few stamp dealers like Willem van der Bijl, whose small shop in the historic city center of Utrecht in the Netherlands belies the importance of his collection of North Korean materials, both philatelic […]

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An intriguing block of 8 North Korean 1950 overprints show up…

The months of July and August 1950 were very difficult months for Seoul. The North had taken over the city very early on in the Korean War and the situation was, to put it mildly “hard”. Atrocities were being committed on a large scale and the ordinary life of the city had basically come to […]

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How Stalin and Mao disappeared even from the Soviet map of Pyongyang

One thing leads to another, and before you know it, yet more information comes your way. We have seen this happening time and again in the Korea Stamp Society these last few years. In this particular case: when Willem van der Bijl showed us scans of his collection of DPRK stamp artworks (see KP Vol. […]

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Russian Fieldpost in North Korea, 1950?

Outside the USSR, after 1946 field post correspondence was only used by Soviet troops in occupied territories (e.g., Korea, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, etc.). Registered letters sent through field post offices after 1946 are extremely rare and normally have NO censor mark. Moreover, no international letters sent with Field Post cancellations from the Russian army […]

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Are these stamps the unlisted series KSC5170-KSC5173?

One of our readers, Jordan, sent scans of four complete sheets of North Korean stamps asking what we know about these particular stamps. The first thing to do when answering such questions is to look through either the “Korean Stamp Catalogue 1946-2015” (if the stamps were issued before December 2015) or on the Korea Stamp […]

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A closer look at real and fake North Korean philatelic items (Part I)

Most stamp dealers have a specialization, some field of (philatelic) interest which make them stand apart from other dealers. But there are few stamp dealers like Willem van der Bijl, whose small shop in the historic city center of Utrecht in the Netherlands belies the importance of his collection of North Korean materials, both philatelic […]

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Postal stationery used in Northern Korea (II): Japanese 5 sen Nanko card 1945-1947

Preface: This series of articles derive from discussions among several KSS member collectors. Some of them are interested in collecting Korean (and Japanese) philatelic items but feel confused in distinguishing different surcharges of early Korean postal stationeries since they cannot read Hanja and Hangul. See here for part I about the usage of these cards […]

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Beautiful Korean Silk/Wood Christmas Card from the late 1920’s

Recently I was attracted to a “wood” Korean Christmas Card mailed from Korea to Florida, USA in the late 1920’s. I had never seen one like this before and bought it. When I received it, I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful it was, when I actually saw the card itself. The wooden card has a […]

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