Commemorating the first anniversary of last June’s first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit, the Korea Stamp Corporation issued a set of stamps featuring U.S. President Donald Trump this June.
The three stamps, which are being sold in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, depict the first handshake between Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un; the pair signing a joint agreement after their initial meeting; and the full text of that agreement.
This month, the postal service followed the “handshake” issue with another stamp marking the recent “lightning meeting” between Trump, Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In; however, Jae-In is absent from this latest release.
It comes at a time when tensions are escalating on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has recently conducted a series of missile tests.
On Aug. 9, much to the delight of postal historians, Trump praised a “really beautiful” three-page letter sent from Kim during the missile tests, according to a report in The Independent. Trump also told reporters he has “never been a fan” of the joint military drills held annually by the U.S. and South Korea.
“You know why? I don’t like paying for it. We should be reimbursed for it and I have told that to South Korea.”
NORTH KOREAN PHILATELY
The Korea 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, and its headquarters is located near one of Pyongyang’s most popular hotels.
The postal service’s catalogue of sought-after issues dates back to 1946 and are popular for their rarity as well as their design. North Korea has outproduced its southern counterpart in regards to stamp production since the 1970s, according to Monuments Writ Small: Postage Stamps, Philatelic Iconography, and the Commercialization of State Sovereignty in North Korea by Ross King.
In fact, philately is so prominent in North Korea that there’s an entire museum dedicated to the hobby in Pyongyang.
Last year, North Korea issued a set of stamps promoting its nuclear arsenal on the 70th anniversary of the regime’s founding.
The stamps show mobile missile launchers and feature the phrases “immediate counterattack” as well as “mass production of nuclear warheads and ballistic rockets.” They highlight a speech by Kim Jong-un, who was calling for increased weapons production in response to “the enemy’s manoeuvres for a nuclear war.”
Another stamp, this depicting Kim Jong-un during his speech, included the phrase “a new victory on all fronts of building a socialist power with revolutionary gunfire.” The other stamps promoted North Korea’s economy; its construction, carbon and chemical industries; and its various achievements in healthcare, education, sports and culture.
‘FATTY MONSTER U.S. IMPERIALISTS’
In 2017, 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.”
A set of four stamps commemorating North Korea’s July 2017 nuclear missile tests was also issued by the country’s postal service in August 2017.
Two months later, it released a set of three stamps featuring three generations of North Korean leaders, including the nation’s founder Kim Il Sung, former leader Kim Jong Il and current leader Kim Jong Un.
Earlier that year, as part of its “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month,” North Korea released another two stamps with strong anti-U.S sentiments.