Friday, November 26, 2010

Korea's Postal System

With tensions mounting on the Korean pennisula, the Korean Times reports Korea’s first modern postal service started in 1884.

According to an article by Robert Neff, following its opening to the West in 1882, one of Korea’s first modernization attempts was the postal service. Beginning in June, 1884, at least four former Japanese postal employees were hired to act as advisors and assist setting up the country's system.

Robert writes, "Korea’s first stamps were printed in Japan and were of five denominations: 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 'mun.' Nearly 2,800,000 stamps were ordered by the Korean government but only 15,000 stamps (5 and 10 mun denominations) had arrived when the first post offices were opened on Nov. 18, 1884 at Chemulpo and Seoul."

He goes on to say, "Most of the early post office records were destroyed and no covers (postally used envelopes or postcards) with Korean stamps from this period still exist.

According to a separate article on Wikipedia, "In 1905, Japan assumed administrative control of Korea, and subsequently all mail used Japanese stamps. This state of affairs continued until early 1946. On 1 February 1946, the US military administration in South Korea overprinted Japanese stamps, supplanting them on 1 May with designs commemorating liberation from Japan."

Shown above, one of Korea's first stamps from 1884.

To read the Korean Times article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM