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

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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KPC3582-3589 The Historic Architecture in Korea : Anglican & Catholic Churches

한국의 옛 건축(성당) Korean Old Architecture (Churches) 우표번호 Stamp No. 3582-3589 종수 Types 8 발행량 Quantity 640,000장 (S/S 400,000) 디자인 Design 성당 인쇄 및 색수 Print & Color 평판 / 4도 전지구성 Whole sheet composition 4 × 4 디자이너 Designer 유지형 발행일 Date of Issue 2022. 4. 14. 액면가격 Denomination 430원 x 4 (690/840/1010/1090) 우표크기 […]

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KPC3590-3593 Protected Marine Species (5th)

    해양보호생물(다섯 번째 묶음) Protected Marine Species (5th) 우표번호Stamp No. 3590-3593 종수Types 4 발행량 Quantity 640,000(전지 40,000장) 디자인Design 갯게 인쇄 및 색수Print & Color 평판 / 4도 / 금박 전지구성Whole sheet composition 4 × 4 디자이너Designer 박은경 발행일Date of Issue 2022. 4. 20. 액면가격Denomination 430원 우표크기Stamp size 35 × 35 인면Image size 35 × […]

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KPC3594 The 100th Celebration of Children’s Day

New Stamp Information from Korean Stamp Postal Service 제100회 어린이날 The 100th Celebration of Children’s Day 우표번호Stamp No. 3594 종수Types 1 발행량 Quantity 640,000(전지 40,000장) 디자인Design 따뜻한 사랑 속에서 자라는 어린이들 인쇄 및 색수Print & Color 평판 / 4도/ 유광먹박 / 엠보싱 전지구성Whole sheet composition 4 × 4 디자이너Designer 정은영 발행일Date of Issue 2022. 5. […]

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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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Obtaining one more 1905 Postal Envelope of the Missionary Mr. H. G. Underwood!

This year I was lucky enough to have bid on an auction and won this 1905 postal envelope of Missionary Horace Grant Underwood. The sender’s address is “FROM: H. G. UNDERWOOD,SEOUL, KOREA.”, receiver address is typed as “Tiffin Stamp Co, 160 N St. Tiffin Ohio, USA”. The envelope was franked with a 10 cent Eagle […]

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The Korea Stamp Museum in Pyongyang in 2012-2013

The Stamp Museum of Pyongyang is housed in a specially built three-floor building next to the well-known Koryo Hotel in downtown Pyongyang. The front of the building is designed in the shape of a stamp. In front of the building stands a bronze statue of a dove holding a postcard while flying around the earth […]

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One For The Record

It should not come as a surprise that a specialized stamp society such as the KSS has among its membership quite a few highly specialized members. However, it does sometimes feel as if the KSS has more of those specialized members than quite a few other stamp societies. It is of course purely anecdotal, but […]

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Five examples of mail sent from the USSR to the DPRK in 1950

Shown here are 5 covers sent between June and September 1950 to North Korea. Covers no. 1-4 were sent by Soviet citizens of Korean ethnicity to their relatives or friends, who were living in the territory of North Korea. The sender of the fifth cover is presumably the wife of a Soviet officer, who at […]

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The Halls of India: Christmas Seals pioneers and Christian leaders in the war against tuberculosis

Originated in Denmark, Christmas seals have become a universal symbol of the fight against tuberculosis. A story that includes an important chapter by Dr. Sherwood Hall, ‘19, and his wife, Dr. Marian Hall, the former Marian Bottomley, ’22. Going to Korea as medical missionaries in 1926, they established that country’s first tuberculosis sanatorium, for which […]

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The Changing Face of Korean Philately

The look of Korean Philately (KP) has changed quite a bit in the last 70 years. There were many stages in the development of the covers of KP. The first KP was published by Harold D. Bearce, who was the first editor for the Korea Stamp Society (KSS), on October 1, 1951 with Albert L. […]

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Mao’s only son died in the Korean War

On the occasion of Mao Zedong’s 100th birthday, the Korean Stamp Corporation (DPRK) issued a series of postal stationery in honor of Mao. The cards have three-dimensional images, which is why they are quite heavy and made of plastic; but it’s not the comical “wobbly images” often seen in 3D – that would probably not […]

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A letter from China to Korea (1948)

Mail between China and Korea after 1945 was not common, therefore it was difficult for collectors to get hold of such covers. Business contacts did not yet exist; the missionaries were paralyzed by war and civil wars and they lacked support from their home countries. It is probably no coincidence that the letter shown below […]

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Cover commemorating Clark taking over UN Command in 1952

This cover commemorates the appointment of Mark Clark and was sent by the Commander of the ROK Third Division to the Commander of the Ninth Division. General Mark Clark took over the United Nations Command on May 12, 1952, and held the position until July 27, 1953, when the armistice was signed.

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Buyer Beware… Again! Korea First Issue Essay

I spotted this on an archived Delcampe sold file of a highly-questionable Dealer located in France. In my fifty-five-plus years collecting, researching and specializing in Empire Korea material I have never seen, or heard, of this item. This sold for 300 Euros. Apparently, it is the same item that was discussed in this article on […]

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Differences between the field posts of the People’s Liberation Army (1950-1960) and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in Korea (1952-1958)

The Chinese Government attached great importance to the Korean and Chinese units differing significantly from each other in formal terms. The Chinese People’s Volunteers received different troop designations, rank insignia and uniforms. Field letters from Korea were given their own troop cancellers (fig. 1), which differed from the Chinese field post letters (fig. 2).

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Reusing a 1946 postal card to create a 1950 postal ID

During the Korean War (1950-1953) and for at least a decade after the war South Korea (ROK) was counted amongst the poorest nations in the world. As late as the early 1960s the average Ethiopian or Ugandan was richer than the average South Korean. And yes, even the average North Korean was (probably) richer than […]

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ROK Samiljeol Commemorative Military Post Card used in 1952

Shown here is a military post card used in 1952. The card is a commemorative card, printed to commemorate “Samil Day”. The following extract about Samiljeol is from a 1943 booklet authored by New Ilhan entitled Korea and the Pacific War which was based on a report he prepared for the Office of Strategic Services […]

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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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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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History of the Korea Stamp Society Written in 1976

As I looking through my old Korean Philately magazines in preparation for the KP 70th anniversary issue of the Korea Stamp Society I came across something that I had not noticed before. On the back of a facsimile of the first KP issued on October 1, 1951, I found a summary of the KSS from […]

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The Bencruachan making waves

One of the most interesting types of (philatelic) articles are in my opinion the ones which have a personal connection. Take for instance the KSS members who used to work in Korea in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time they wrote quite a few articles on the philatelic situation on the ground, which has […]

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The Tatham Stamp and Coin Company and Dr. Halls TB/Christmas Seals

A 2-sided sheet containing Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Korean Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Seals from 1932-1940 caught my eye on eBay recently; it was offered by a dealer in the UK. It was produced by the Tatham Stamp and Coin Company of Springfield, Massachusetts in the USA and it is a set of seals “on approval”. When […]

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Stamp essay of 1884 5 mun stamp in Spink auction: do we know more about this item?

In Spink’s auction of 12 January 2020 a rather strange item showed up. No, the type of item is not strange, stamp essays are quite commonly available. Actually, one might even say some essays are too common, just have a look at Willem van der Bijl’s article on the subject of North Korean “artworks” in […]

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Readers Question: Envelope for monetary donations or condolence letters?

Here is an envelope that looks like Dr. Hall’s examples but has no space for addresses. I thought it could be intended for monetary donations or possibly for condolence letters placed inside comfort bags. Does anyone know for sure?

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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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A tense peace or a relaxed war?

Korea is a peninsula that lies in the sea from China and Siberia towards Japan. It has since 1945 effectively consisted of two parts, North and South. The history of this division has nothing to do with Korea itself, but the effect is that since 1948 there are two countries, the “DPRK” (North) and the […]

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The one thing they agree upon: “Dokdo is ours”!

Despite being mortal enemies, North and South Korea agree on thing: Dokdo, the group of rocks in the middle of the “Sea of Japan” or “East Sea” is Korean and not Japanese. The international name for Dokdo is officially “Liancourt Rocks”, a name often found on maps to avoid offending either Korea or Japan, but […]

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Korean postal affairs under American occupation (1946)

Prior to occupation of southern Korea by American forces, the postage used was Japanese. Since the American occupation, and up to the present time, they have continued to use Japanese postage on hand. Importation of additional stamps from Japan was, of course, immediately stopped. No attempt was made to over the postage on hand in […]

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April 1946 postwar usages of Postage Fee Paid forms with Japanese Showa and USAMGIK surcharges

In 1919 the Japanese Posts introduced “Postage Fee Paid” forms. These forms were used to pay for various kinds of mail matter in bulk. The official Japanese postal term was 郵便料金受領証原符 = “Postage fee reception original form” and is imprinted on top. The actual mail items received a circular bisected handstamp in characters “(post office […]

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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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Reader’s Question: How much to send an envelope from North Korea to the USA in 1978?

Marci Jarvis, editor of Cat Mews (which is the magazine of the Cats on Stamps Study Unit) has a question with regards to the postage on this envelope. The Korean Stamp Corporation (KSC) sent it to the then editor of Topical Time, Jerry Husak, the founder of the American Topical Association. On it are a […]

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Another Type of Korea Methodist Seal

In an earlier article on 17 August 2019 posted on the Korea Stamp Society’s website, we wrote about the Methodist’s 50th anniversary in Korea. Dr. Sherwood Hall, the creator of Korea’s first Tuberculosis/Christmas and New Year’s seal in 1932 also designed this seal. A number of examples of these seals used on mailings from Korea […]

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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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Readers Question: Chōsen Sotokufu Teishin Kyoku Card?

My question concerns a card that was issued by Chōsen Sotokufu Teishin Kyoku and features a picture of chickens with an inscription in Korean. It appears that the design could have been issued as a New Year greeting. The Teishin Kyoku issued a set of post cards on October 1, 1910 commemorating the opening of […]

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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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