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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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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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Postal Stationery presented to the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in North Korea 1952-3 (Part II)

The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPV) had entered North Korea in October 1950, in response to the perceived threat to the year-old People’s Republic of China from the rapidly-advancing UN forces during the fifth month of the Korean War. The swift advances made by the (North) Korean People’s Army after they crossed the 38th Parallel […]

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Postal Stationery presented to the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in North Korea 1952-3 (Part I)

The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPV) had entered North Korea in October 1950, in response to the perceived threat to the year-old People’s Republic of China from the rapidly-advancing UN forces during the fifth month of the Korean War. The swift advances made by the (North) Korean People’s Army after they crossed the 38th Parallel […]

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The Korean Language and How to Read DPRK Military Postcards

For anyone studying Korean postage stamps and postal stationery, understanding the structure of the Korean language and the Korean alphabet will enrich the understanding of any material which you have. The Korean language is highly structured and regular. Some sixty percent of its vocabulary derives from written Chinese (called in Korean Hanja 漢字).

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The story behind the 2010 dinosaur overprint issue

For the International Youth Stamps Collectors’ Exhibition Europhila 2010 on October 2-3, 2010 in Stockholm, the KSC agreed to issue a special overprinted exhibition sheetlet as well as one overprinted postcard and one overprinted entire. Organizer of the Europhila Expo was the Swedish Stamp Youth, the Stockholm district, SFU. 25 children and youth from Belgium, […]

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