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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Original and not so original North Korean artworks

(Editor) Willem van der Bijl is one of the world’s foremost dealers of North Korean philatelic materials. In his collection are many unique items, which, until he managed to acquire them, were unknown to the philatelic world. However, given the unique economic situation in North Korea he also managed to accidentally create a completely new […]

Continue Reading

Postal stationery used in Northern Korea (I): Japanese colonial era 1944-1945

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.

Continue Reading

How Stalin and Mao disappeared from the map of Pyongyang

After the Second World War quite a few cities in Western democracies had a “Stalin Street”. At the time this was quite understandable: the Soviet Union had from 1941 been an important ally against Nazi Germany. However, these streets disappeared overnight when the Soviet army invaded Hungary in 1956. The Stalinlaan in Amsterdam for instance […]

Continue Reading

Lee Neung-hwa, an unknown historical figure and a stamp collector in a time of turmoil

In Joseon (Korea) in the 33rd year (1896) of King Gojong‘s rule a French person, Emile Martel (1874-1949), established the French Language School in Seoul as a governmental institute in Jong-ro-gu, now known as Susong-dong (Korean: 수송동). Martel arrived in Korea in July 1894 at the age of only twenty years old. Subsequently this school […]

Continue Reading

Testing the South Korean postal system after first liberation of Seoul

Shown here are two cards, one sent by correspondent Richard Johnston, the other by correspondent Charles Grutzner, both to their own (postal) addres. Neither were actually handled handled by the US Army-Air Force Postal Service, which means they probably do not qualify as ‘private usage’ in this instance. (See this KP article for the background […]

Continue Reading

Korean forgeries (VII): 10 poon issued July 22 1895 (1st Printing); 1896 (2nd Printing) etc.

The second stamp in the Taegeuk series is the 10 poon. The stamp is designated Scott #7 deep blue (both printings), KPSC #4 (1st printing; #4a 2nd printing and Minkus #4. Black and white images and data are from Brady-Tyler, Zirkel, G. La Francesca and colour images and data are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards), Florian […]

Continue Reading

Flags of Countries Participating in the Korean War: Flag Errors

In 1951 Korea issued a series of 42 stamps featuring flags of 21 countries that provided assistance in the Korean War (June 1950- July1953). Armed forces were sent from 16 United Nations countries, most from the United States. Five others, including Italy, the only Non-member State to participate (becoming a member on 14 December 1955), […]

Continue Reading

Post-war reconstruction of South Korea through 1973 tourism stamp

After the Korean War for well over a decade the economic development of South Korea was at a stand still. The country was considered an economic “basket case”. However, during Park Chung-hee’s reign the country began to grow rapidly. One visible effect were the many newly constructed roads and bridges, which featured a lot on […]

Continue Reading

North Korea: from Liberation to War (1945-1950)

Japanese control of Korea ended with the surrender on 15 August 1945 of the Imperial armed forces. Decisions made at the Yalta Conference in February 1945 were implemented after the surrender. The primary actions taken were the division of the Korean peninsula arbitrarily at the 38th Parallel, with the northern zone to be occupied by […]

Continue Reading