Specialised Catalogue of Korean Stamps

South Korea will celebrate the 140th anniversary of the inception of the modern postal system in 2024. On the occasion of this significant year, to be commemorated both nationally and internationally, PHILAKOREA will take place for the fifth time under FIP recognition. As South Korea has achieved remarkable economic growth in such a brief period, […]

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Postal and communications routes in Korea (1913)

Maps play an indispensable role in philatelic research, offering a unique lens through which to explore the intricate tapestry of history and geography that stamps represent. As miniature canvases of cultural and political narratives, stamps are more than just a means of postage; they are a reflection of the changing landscapes, borders, and identities of […]

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Thoughts about Korean Philately (Looking at 2023 new issues)

We all know and sadly recognise that the Korean nation has been divided since the end of the Second World War, and that a devastating civil war was fought there in the early 1950s. These two unfortunate facts, however, are the source of a major difference in the way in which the two governments of […]

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Postal history documents from the USAMGIK period in the NAK archive

The database of the National Archives of Korea can be a valuable resource for philatelists interested in the postal history of the 1945-1948 USAMGIK period in Korea. By utilizing the database effectively, a philatelist can gain insights into the postal system during this time, including stamp usage, design, and production, as well as the broader […]

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Review of the Latest Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC) 2022-2023

Well, with the latest Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue (KPSC) for 2022-2023, it is “Back to the Future” or as the saying goes: “Old is New Again”. With the help of a fellow Korea Stamp Society (KSS) member living in Korea, Tony Michell, I was finally able to obtain a copy of the 2022-2023 edition of […]

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Korean Stamp Review 4th Quarter 1992 article on the Korea 1940 unissued seal

The Korean Stamp Review was a quarterly magazine published in English from 1976 to 2014 by the Korean Philatelic Center and authorized by KoreaPost. Ivo Spanjersberg published an article about one of the issues on the Korea Stamp Society’s (KSS) website. At that time Ivo wrote that some issues were available online on the KoreaPost […]

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Korea Illustrated –The Embassy of Korea Magazine issued by the Korean Information Office in Washington, D.C.

In one of my boxes with all things related to Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Christmas and New Year/Tuberculosis seals, I found a copy of the English language Spring Issue of the “Korea Illustrated’ magazine from The Embassy of Korea issued in May, 1973 by the Korean Information Office in Washington, D.C. It has a good article […]

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Stamps, Nationalism and Political Transitions

The academic publishers Routledge has just published a new book edited by Prof. Stanley D. Brunn of the University of Kentucky on the subject of stamps as a source for documentary research on political trends, changes and transitions. Stanley Brunn, along with Jack Child and David Scott, has been among the leading Anglophone scholars to […]

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Stamp collecting promotion posters from the 1980s and 1990s on NAK website

The South Korean government has been promoting the digitization of archives for several decades now. This is great for stamp collectors, as highly detailed information on South Korean postal and revenue stamps has come to light thanks to the efforts of South Korean archives. If you can read/write (type) Korean, a lot of information can […]

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North and South Korean Issues During the Korean War: Ideological Conflict

Much has been written on the logistics, causes, and effects of the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953). Charles Armstrong was correct to assert that the Cold War was a campaign of propaganda and psychological warfare,1 with the Korean War being no exception. It was not just a physical conflict, it was […]

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A brief biography of Helen Kingsbury Zirkle (1898 – 1976)

My interest in Chinese stamps has focused for the past few years on Manchukuo. During this time I have collected a number of books that have aided my research and one of the most useful has been a book with the catchy title “The Postage Stamps and Commemorative Cancellations of Manchoukuo/Manshukoku, Manchou Tikuo, Manchukuo”, written […]

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The Semiotics of the First Korean Issues

As a philatelist, my principal interest has been in the semiotics of the stamps, the meaning of their design. The first stamps issued by a national government or stamp issuing authority are particularly intriguing. This is a government’s first opportunity to present itself graphically to the world. What do they put on their very first […]

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Download (KSS members only): “Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries – Korean Empire”

One of the most challenging aspects of collecting Korean stamps is that there are many forgeries/counterfeits/fakes of both the stamps as well as the overprints and cancellations of the early “Empire” issues from 1884 to 1900. Very often, the stamps, overprints and the cancellations can all be forgeries. Fortunately, there are few or none known […]

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