This August, North Korea released a set of four stamps commemorating its July nuclear missile tests.
Issued by the Korean Stamp Corporation, the stamps include information about the nation’s test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile known as Hwasong-14, which experts believe has the ability to reach the U.S. Aside from diagrams of the missile’s trajectory and reach, two of the four stamps also depict North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea tested its new missile on July 4 and again on July 28 in direct defiance of the United Nations, which recently placed sanctions on the East Asian country to prohibit export of North Korean coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. The sanctions also set new limits on North Korea’s foreign trade bank.
The four-stamp set is the latest philatelic development in the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis, which saw more recent test launches held on Aug. 26, Aug. 29 and Sept. 15, the latter two of which saw missiles launched over Japan.
EARLIER DPRK STAMPS
North Korea began its “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” on June 27, and the month-long “struggle” saw the release of two postage stamps.
Also issued by the Korean Stamp Corporation, these stamps are strikingly anti-American, which is in line with the government’s annual “struggle,” which commemorates the outbreak of the Korean War and ran until July 27.
One of the stamps depicts a Korean fist crushing a U.S. missile alongside a tattered American flag. It reads, “against the strong measure with stronger measure.” Another stamp shows a hand holding a gun and eight missiles pointing toward a building that bears resemblance to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It reads, “not by words, entirely by weapon.”
In addition to the stamps, the month-long event will include a massive anti-America rally in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital. where an estimated 100,000 North Koreans will march.
‘FATTY MONSTER U.S. IMPERIALISTS’
This August, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement calling on the world to fight “the fatty monster U.S. imperialists” and calling the U.S. “a paper tiger easy to be crushed and set on fire.”
The Korean Stamp Corporation has been a member of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) since 1965. It produces stamps for domestic use as well as for philatelists and collectors around the world. Its headquarters is located near one of Pyongyang’s most popular hotels.The stamps join a catalogue of sought-after issues, which date back to 1946 and are popular for their rarity as well as their design. According to Monuments Writ Small: Postage Stamps, Philatelic Iconography, and the Commercialization of State Sovereignty in North Korea by Ross King, North Korea has outproduced South Korea in regards to stamp production since the 1970s.
In fact, philately is so prominent in North Korea that there’s an entire museum dedicated to the hobby in Pyongyang.