Postage stamps and postal history of North Korea

A 1974 stamp depicting an Li-2 of Air Koryo in flight.

Postage stamps are issued by the North Korean postal department and tend to portray patriotic and nationalist themes and are used as a form of propaganda.[1] Since the 1970s North Korea has outproduced South Korea in terms of stamp issuance.[2]

Stamps are issued by the Stamp Bureau of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The country has been a member of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie since 15 June 1965. There is a museum, the Korean Stamp Museum, dedicated to philateliy in the country.[3]


Korea Stamp shop in Pyongyang

The first stamps of North Korea were issued on 12 March 1946:[4] Rose of Sharon and Samson Rock.[3] Stamps prior to 1974 dealt primarily with subjects relating specifically to North Korea, its foundation, Kim Il-Sung and other patriotic themes. After 1974, in a bid to bring more hard currency into the country, North Korea began issuing stamps with wide-ranging themes (such as Joan of Arc, airships, sports and wildlife) and using English descriptions.[5]

Wording on the stamps is mostly in Korean. The term "DPR Korea" is written in English.

See also


  1. Rudiger Frank, Ross King. "Exploring North Korean Arts" (PDF). p. 205. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  2. Rudiger Frank, Ross King. "Exploring North Korean Arts" (PDF). p. 193. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Choe Kwang Ho (2016). "Stamps Showcase 70 Years of the DPRK" (PDF). Pictorial KOREA. No. 3. pp. 32–33.
  4. Korea. Sandafayre Stamp Atlas. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  5. "Stamps of North Korea". "Michael Rogers Inc". Retrieved February 2, 2013.
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