Simple ways to identify stamps from Chosun Dynasty, North Korea and South Korea

One of our newest Korea Stamp Society members asked the Korea Stamp Society for information on how to tell the differences between South and North Korean stamps. As most of our articles on the KSS website are on specialized topics about Korean philately, we thought it would be good to write an article about identifying […]

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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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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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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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Story of Baron G. de Gunzburg – Russian Government Official in Chosen

(On the relationship Between Chosŏn and Russia) On October 8, 1895, Queen Myung-Sung was assassinated by the Japanese force. King Go-Jong, who was also confined at the palace Kyung-Bok, fearing for his life, wanted to escape. On November 28, 1895, the King’s first try to flee to the legation of the United States failed because […]

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The Story of Monsieur Charles Aleveque

Charles Aleveque (known in Korea as An Ryebaek, -晏禮百) made and distributed the first photographic postcards in Korea, published a French-Korean dictionary, and represented the Korean Government at the 1900 Paris Exposition. As a representative for a French trading company, he worked for trade between Korea and France, importing modern materials for the government of […]

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Is this a Cover from Dr. New-Ilhan, One of the Co-Founders of La Choy?

Recently when I was searching on the net for Japanese Occupation of Korea covers, I found a cover that was very interesting to me. I did a search for the sender’s name and discovered that this might be a cover with that contained a letter from New-Ilhan. His original name was Ilhyeong New.

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The Story of Monsieur Tremoulet

Following the opening of Korea’s ports to international commerce in the 1880s, the Government recognized the importance of developing modern methods of mining. On September 4, 1900, the ‘Governmental Mining School’ to promote industrial education was established. The officials of the school were to be the principal, a superintendent, four trainers, an assistant trainer, and […]

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An intriguing block of 8 North Korean 1950 overprints show up…

The months of July and August 1950 were very difficult months for Seoul. The North had taken over the city very early on in the Korean War and the situation was, to put it mildly “hard”. Atrocities were being committed on a large scale and the ordinary life of the city had basically come to […]

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Interesting Korea related items in Corinphila and Vance auctions

Philatelic items directly related to Korea are relatively rare in (international) auctions. Of course, there are these “collections” with albums packed with North Korean stamps from the 1970s and 1980s or the usual South Korean flag sheets and such, but occasionally interesting items do show up. Here are a few examples from two different auction […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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Custodian Force, India in Korea 1953-1954

This cover illustrates the use of stamps overprinted for the Custodian Force, India (CFI). This was a deployment of Indian forces, including the 60th Parachute Field Ambulance unit (which had been in Korea from November 1950) to oversee the repatriation of POWs after the armistice. The CFI was in Korea from late September 1953 until […]

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