Obtaining one more 1905 Postal Envelope of the Missionary Mr. H. G. Underwood!

This year I was lucky enough to have bid on an auction and won this 1905 postal envelope of Missionary Horace Grant Underwood. The sender’s address is “FROM: H. G. UNDERWOOD,SEOUL, KOREA.”, receiver address is typed as “Tiffin Stamp Co, 160 N St. Tiffin Ohio, USA”. The envelope was franked with a 10 cent Eagle […]

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Five examples of mail sent from the USSR to the DPRK in 1950

Shown here are 5 covers sent between June and September 1950 to North Korea. Covers no. 1-4 were sent by Soviet citizens of Korean ethnicity to their relatives or friends, who were living in the territory of North Korea. The sender of the fifth cover is presumably the wife of a Soviet officer, who at […]

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Mao’s only son died in the Korean War

On the occasion of Mao Zedong’s 100th birthday, the Korean Stamp Corporation (DPRK) issued a series of postal stationery in honor of Mao. The cards have three-dimensional images, which is why they are quite heavy and made of plastic; but it’s not the comical “wobbly images” often seen in 3D – that would probably not […]

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Differences between the field posts of the People’s Liberation Army (1950-1960) and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in Korea (1952-1958)

The Chinese Government attached great importance to the Korean and Chinese units differing significantly from each other in formal terms. The Chinese People’s Volunteers received different troop designations, rank insignia and uniforms. Field letters from Korea were given their own troop cancellers (fig. 1), which differed from the Chinese field post letters (fig. 2).

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Post cards commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo

Two post cards, part of a set commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo. These two post cards were made by the Huimangsa 希望社 · 製 for the industrial exhibition commemorating the tenth anniversary of liberation 解放十週年產業博覽會記念. This refers to August 15, 1945, commemorated in both the ROK and DPRK as the date Korea was liberated from […]

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Japanese era “directional cachets” used on New Ilhan covers leading the way to the USA

When I was writing my earlier article on New Ilhan (see KP Vol. 57 No. 1), I didn’t even realize I had more envelopes from the New Ilhan company. When I did realize, I looked around for more envelopes from New Ilhan and discovered several other items. All these envelopes must have come from the […]

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My postal experiences in the DPRK 2012 – 2013

From early August 2012 to the end of November 2013 I was stationed in Pyongyang (DPRK) for the World Food Program of the United Nations. Because of the limited international internet access allowed to the WFP national staff in the DPRK (mainly seconded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). There is also a WFP DPRK […]

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Missionary Correspondence in Colonial Korea: McCune – Hunt Letters

The three envelopes described below are small but important pieces of information about three key Presbyterian missionary families in Korea – the McCunes, the Hunts, and the Blairs. All of these families were involved in education, and became embroiled in the politics of colonial Korea under the Japanese. In particular, they and other missionaries were […]

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Korean postal affairs under American occupation (1946)

Prior to occupation of southern Korea by American forces, the postage used was Japanese. Since the American occupation, and up to the present time, they have continued to use Japanese postage on hand. Importation of additional stamps from Japan was, of course, immediately stopped. No attempt was made to over the postage on hand in […]

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April 1946 postwar usages of Postage Fee Paid forms with Japanese Showa and USAMGIK surcharges

In 1919 the Japanese Posts introduced “Postage Fee Paid” forms. These forms were used to pay for various kinds of mail matter in bulk. The official Japanese postal term was 郵便料金受領証原符 = “Postage fee reception original form” and is imprinted on top. The actual mail items received a circular bisected handstamp in characters “(post office […]

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Examples of DPRK new issue leaflet from the 1990s: when times were different

For several years (starting in 2018) the KSS has been listing new stamp issues from North Korea. With these new issues the stamp issuing entity of the DPRK, the Korea Stamp Corporation (KSC), always releases a new issue leaflet. This issue shows details of the stamps, while at the same time doubling as an order […]

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Early Korean fake stamps (1884 – 1895 series)

Forgeries have always been a major problem for philatelists. This is perhaps even more true for early Korean materials: the simple fact that early Korean stamps weren’t much collected before the First World War made it quite easy for stamp forgers, especially from Japan, to create forgeries which could fool collectors. Even though often very […]

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Follow-Up to Millard Beatty’s Article on the UN Flags Errors of 1951

Millard Beatty’s article discussed some of the errors he had found on the Italy and New Zealand issues of Korea’s 1951 UN Flag set. I was aware of the Italy issue missing the crown, but the spelling of “Zealand” with an “I”, rather than an “L” was a new variety to me, and I decided […]

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Japanese Offices in Korea Double-Circle Date Stamps (1876-1888)

This is a collection of date stamps used in Japanese Offices in Korea from 1876 to 1888. During this period the first type of CDS, “double-circle date stamps”, was used at Busan (or “Fusan” in Japanese), Wonsan (or “Gensan”), and Incheon (or “Ninsen”). The Japanese-language version of this exhibit was shown at JAPEX 2019 and […]

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