Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dutch Stamp Collector Triggers International Incident

Dutch broadcaster RTV Utrecht reported on Monday a  Dutch stamp collector has not returned from a trip to North Korea.

According a report on the South Korean website Chosun Ilbo, "Willem van der Bijl of Utrecht visited the North on July 17 to buy North Korean stamps and propaganda art. He was supposed to return home on July 30 but has been out of contact."

It goes on to say,"There is speculation that the Dutchman may have been arrested for trying to buy rare stamps from an individual North Korean, whom foreigners are banned from contacting.

"If so, this could damage relations between the North and the EU, the Dutch press said. The EU has been talking with the North about ways of giving it humanitarian food aid worth 10 million euros (approximately W15.5 billion)."

Shown above, imperforate 50ch brown Kim Il Sung stamp, shown above (left), is one of North Korea's scarcest issues. Mint singles regularly sell for $300 or more according to an article, Stamps of North Korea Provide Challenges, found on the Michael Rogers, Inc. website.
Click here to learn more about the missing Dutch collector.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM