Are the Designs of North Korea’s (DPRK) Stamps commemorating the creation of the DPRK Flag and National Emblem based On a Painting?

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued its first set of stamps on September 19, 1948 commemorating the establishment of the DPRK on September 9, 1948, Scott 14-15. The Scott numbers for North Korea 1 -13 are for used for the Soviet occupation era. Since those stamps were issued, North Korea has issued stamps […]

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DPRK Philately has many secrets and mysteries

I have been collecting stamps from North Korea for about 30 years and I can say that the philately of this country has many secrets and mysteries. The main catalogs (Scott, Michel, and Stanley Gibbons (SG)) do not provide complete and reliable information. The catalog printed in the DPRK gives distorted price information. Yes, this […]

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DPRK 1976 “Winners, 21st Olympic Games, Montreal” Sheet Sizes and Other Differences

In 1976, the DPRK released several souvenir sheets that differ (within the same catalog number) from each other. Differences in size, perforation, presence of glue, etc. can be found. The information in catalogs is somewhat different. The most notable example would be the Souvenir Sheet for release: Winners, 21st Olympic Games, Montreal.

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Some other examples of stamp issues for the Kim Il Sung anniversary

(On 15 April an article was published on how the DPRK commemorates the birthday of Kim Il Sung. Here one of our members, Alexander Shaposhnikov, introduces a few other related stamp issues from his collection:) In addition to the article I am sending some photos of several rare imperforated stamps dedicated to the birthday of […]

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Some anniversaries are advertised wider than other anniversaries

October 2021 marked 70 years of the Korea Stamp Society! Really, it did. But did you know about it? Probably not, if only for the simple reason that until then nobody had advertised this fact. (We did in Korean Philately, have a look at the Q4 2021 edition!) Here are two other anniversaries related to […]

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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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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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Reader’s Question: Why these strange North Korean stamp issues?

Leafing through the catalog of DPRK stamps and analyzing the policy of themes and stories on the stamps, I had several questions. Perhaps you, or other KSS members, can help me with the answer. Starting in 1946 to issue postage stamps with neutral themes (Rosa of Sharon, Diamond Mountains), the postal administration expanded the themes […]

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International Women’s Day (8 March) Featured in the Philately of the DPRK

In the period from 1953-1960, four issues of stamps, dedicated to the International Women’s Day (8 March) were issued in North Korea (this day is mainly celebrated in the territory of the former USSR, and some countries of Asia and Africa). Since 2019 this holiday has been a regional holiday in Berlin, Germany.

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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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KSC5338-5339: 60th Anniv. of Pukchong Enlarged Meeting of the Presidium of the WPK Central Committee

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) On 7 April 2021 the Korea Stamp Corporation issued a set of a stamp and a souvenir sheet commemorating the “60th Anniv. of Pukchong Enlarged Meeting of the Presidium of the WPK Central Committee”. The text the KSC released for this issue states: “Pukchong Enlarged Meeting of the […]

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Reader’s Question: What’s the type of bus on this North Korean stamp?

On the KSS Facebook page someone asked about the KSC195 (Stalin Street): “Is it possible to identify the type of bus?” That’s actually a great question! And also an intriguing challenge. So, we had a look around for an answer. Turns out with a bit of research we actually managed to discover the (very probable) […]

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KSC5320: 79th Birthday of the Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) On 16 February 2021 the Korea Stamp Corporation issued a stamp “to mark the 79th birthday of the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il. The stamp reflects Chairman Kim Jong Il’s birthplace in the Paektusan Secret Camp and Jong Il Peak.”

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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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