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Here are some more of the many articles published on our website:

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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Korean Philately Vol. 57 No. 4 (Q4 2021)

The KSS has published a new edition of the KSS magazine, Korean Philately, the fourth KP for 2021! As a member you can download this edition of Korean Philately for free as a PDF. And again, just as was the case with all four issues for 2020, you can own a full-colour magazine-style hard-copy version […]

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Return of Chinese prisoners of war (1954)

Towards the end of the Korean War the issue of when and where to repatriate prisoners of war was a major problem. One year after the release in January 1954 from prisoner-of-war camps of Chinese troops in South Korea, Taiwan (or the “Republic of China”/ROC) issued a series of special stamps. The 1955 official Taiwan […]

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One Example of Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Year Envelopes and Letters Stationery

Eventually we will publish a full description of the Dr. Sherwood Hall’s known Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Year envelopes and letters stationery. This article gives a brief introduction of a set of stationery used personally by Dr. Sherwood Hall when thanking a friend in Fayetteville, Arkansas for some stamps and covers that were sent to Dr. […]

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1957 Czechoslovakia Delegation in Panmunjom

The images show official forms created by the Czechoslovak delegation which was part of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), located in “Panmunchzhon” (Panmunjom/Panmunjeom/P’anmunjŏm; 판문점). The forms come with North Korean stamps, cancelled by special cancellations on 22 May 1957.

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Soviet Bloc Charity Seals for North Korea—what are they?

Recently I was looking for Korean Relief philatelic related material, the type of which I have written about in past articles for the Korea Stamp Society’s website and Korean Philatelic magazine. While doing this, I found a couple of sets of seals from Hungary offered by a Hungarian stamp dealer on Delcampe that appear to […]

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Christmas Seals from the Japanese Colonial Era

The use of Christmas Seals in Korea began with the work of the Methodist medical missionaries Dr. Sherwood Hall (Korean name Ha Rak 賀樂, 1893-1991) and his wife Dr. Marian Bottomley Hall (1896-1991) who were based in the city of Haeju (海州) in South Hwanghae Province (黃海道), now in North Korea.

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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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Dr. Sherwood Hall’s TB/Christmas and New Year Woodblock Print Cards

Along with Dr. Sherwood Hall’s TB/Christmas and New Year seal program, which began in 1932, to raise money for fighting tuberculosis in Korea, a number of items related to the design of the seals where promoted and sold to the public to raise additional funds. As we have seen in earlier articles published on the […]

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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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Missionary Mr. Underwood

Mr. Horace Grant Underwood (July 19, 1859 – Oct. 12, 1916) was the first Presbyterian missionary for the Korean mission from the Presbyterian church U. S. A.. In Korea he is well known as just “Missionary Underwood”, and his Korean name is “Won Doo-Woo” (원 두우; 元 杜尤). Mr. Underwood was born July 19, 1859, […]

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Korean Relief Inc. and the Story of Father Aloysius Schwartz

Our past Chairman and Publisher of the Korea Stamp Society (KSS), Ivo Spanjersberg, has long urged that he and I write an article about the Korean Relief Inc. organization and its related Korean philatelic items. Various items of postal history, including postal stationery, aerogrammes, Christmas seals and labels, and other related merchandize, are frequently seen […]

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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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“I’ll make the world the way I like it!”

It is well-known that the People Republic of China (PRC) rewrites its history as it deems politically correct. The same goes for pictures showing the history of China. Since you haven’t seen everything yourself, you seldom notice it, of course. But here we have two stamp images that are supposed to show the same thing, […]

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Dutch New Guinea Forces in Korean War

A member from the Netherlands philatelic group, the ZWP Study Circle, Han Dijkstra, helped me and Ivo Spanjersberg write an article about the postal history of New Guinea and detailed information about the postal issues of the United Nations “UNTEA” forces during the turnover of West New Guinea to Indonesia in the early 1960’s.

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Comments on the new airmail and regular issues (1962)

In the 1960s (and for years after that decade) KSS member Lyman Hale and his wife lived in South Korea as medical missionaries, meaning they stayed there both as medical staff and as missionaries. Especially during the 1960s Lyman Hale wrote a lot of articles for KP (but as recent as 2019 he was still […]

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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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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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Korean Philately Magazine – Blurb and how to Order Hard Copies

We have received several questions lately from members on how to order the hard copies of the Korean Philately (KP) magazines. It is currently explained on the website on how to order through Blurb, but we thought it would be good idea to do a refresher article on how the new KP’s came to be […]

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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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Korean Philately Vol. 57 No. 3 (Q3 2021)

The KSS has published a new edition of the KSS magazine, Korean Philately, the second KP for 2021! As a member you can download this edition of Korean Philately for free as a PDF. And again, just as was the case with all four issues for 2020, you can own a full-colour magazine-style hard-copy version […]

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First Korean photo gravure stamp issued (1969)

On May 1, 1969 the Republic of Korea released its first postage stamp produced by means of newly installed photogravure printing equipment. The 7W blue regular stamp features the flag of Korea. The photogravure production represents a distinct advance over the lithographed stamps which have been produced by the Korean Government Printing Agency since the […]

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Jacona cover electrifies South Korean history

Last year this cover was for sale on Ebay. I didn’t buy it, but was intrigued by it. The original reason to be interested was because of the seal on the back. This turned out to be an American anti-polio Easter seal, which just like the Korean anti-tuberculosis Christmas seals were sold to raise money […]

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And yes, more Chollimas!

Recently I found these the two postcards shown in the image advertised in packs of North Korean (DPRK) postcards on Delcampe, including one pack from a dealer in China. I do not really know what they are or what they represent. I only bought them because they featured the Chollima.

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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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Military Mail from Belgian UN-troops during the Korean War

Belgium, together with Luxembourg, sent a UN-contingent to Korea in 1951. This contingent, the Belgian United Nations Command (BUNC), consisted exclusively of volunteer soldiers: 3.171 Belgians and 78 Luxembourgers.

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KATUSA receives a letter from home

Something not seen often are covers sent between family members and so-called “KATUSA”. KATUSA or “Korean Augmentation To the United States Army” were Korean men who were part of the US Eight Army from July 1950 onwards. Some were drafted by force, some joined by applying, but either way, these Koreans were a common sight […]

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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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Dr. Hall’s Indian Christmas Seals (Part III)

(Part 3 of 3) When Dr. Hall was forced to leave Korea in 1941, he went to India where he continued his missionary work and started to build a TB seal program as he had done in Korea. And, like in Korea, he was successful in building a TB seal program in India. Indian TB […]

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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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Missionary stamp collectors on 1964 KPS membership list

In an issue of the KSS Newsletter, there was a photocopy of part of the membership list of the Korea Philatelic Society. It is interesting to note that two non-Koreans are listed as members, both missionaries. One is KSS member Dr. Lyman Hale (1922 – 2019), a physician at Severance Hospital, Seoul and a member […]

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Reader’s question: Why are local 1930s revenue stamps never offered “used on document”?

Since first seeing a South Korean revenue stamp in 2010 (when I needed one for a visa document while already in Korea) I have been collecting information about Korean revenue stamps. What is noticeable in my database of 6000+ notes on Korean revenue stamps that some stamps are very easy to collect “used on document” […]

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The South Korean Stamp Scene (Market Study): Part 12

Since there were NO price updates from the 2021 Scotts catalog for the third year in a row, I will not revise my article for 2021. If I get any more information throughout this year, I will pass it on. In the meantime I will conclude by reiterating the following paragraph from Part #11.

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Korea 1945 Cover after WW2 Questions

Recently I purchased on eBay, what is most likely a philatelic cover that was a curiosity to me. It was a cover addressed to a fairly famous US naval officer, Read Admiral Jeraud Wright, dated December 12, 1945. (See images of front and back cover) I was not aware that covers had been made with […]

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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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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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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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Printing the surcharges on first military government issue for Korea 1945/46 (Scott’s #55-60)

One of the first branches of the old Japanese Government activities taken over by the forces of the U. S. Military Government in Korea (USAFIK) after the occupation was the Communications Department which controlled the services of the post office, telegraph system, and radio stations. At the beginning the Postal Section had no alternative but […]

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Dr. Hall’s Indian Christmas Seals (Part II)

(Part 2 of 3) When Dr. Hall was forced to leave Korea in 1941, he went to India where he continued his missionary work and started to build a TB seal program as he had done in Korea. And, like in Korea, he was successful in building a TB seal program in India. Indian TB […]

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Another Chollima Stamp Was Just “Under our Noses”

Collectors of North Korea (DPKR) should have noticed that there is another Chollima stamp that was issued for the 2020 New Year (Stamp KSC5232, 10 won, “Under the uplifted banner of self-reliance”). It was already shown in the article issued on the KSS website on January 1, 2020. It was issued with both perforated and […]

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