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FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 18 November 1884 (these were shortlived as the PO was burned down during a revolt in December 1884, new stamps were not issued until 1895).


1884, 100 mon = 1 tempo.
1895, 5 poon = 1 cheun.
1900, 19 rin = 1 cheun (sen).
100 cheun = 1 weun (yen).

A closed kingdom owing suzerainty to China in 1637-1895. Opened diplomatic relations with Japan in 1876, was annexed by Japan in 1910 and, as its colony, was known as Chosen. In November 1942 was declared part of the Japanese Empire. In August 1945 it was divided at the 38th Parallel between Soviet and US administrations, a situation which exploded into war as soon as North Korea and South Korea became independent republics.

Used stamps of Japan in 1905-46.

Japanese POs in Korea

FIRST STAMPS Japan 1876-99.

PARTICULAR STAMPS ISSUED 1 January 1900-1 April 1901.

POs opened at Pusan, 10 November 1876; Wonsan, April 1880; Chemulpo (now Inchon), December 1883; Seoul, July 1888; Mokpo, October 1897. After 1905 these POs became indistinguishable from any others in Korea.

Used stamps of Japan 1876-99 and from 1 April 1901.

North Korea




1959, Old won = 1 chon; 100 chon = 1 new won.

The area north of the 38th Parallel wrested from the Japanese by the USSR after 10 August 1945, occupied until 30 December 1948 after a People's Democratic Republic had been proclaimed (9 September).

Used stamps of Japan until 1946.

South Korea


FIRST STAMPS 1 February 1946.


1946, 100 cheun = 1 weun.
1953, 100 weun = 1 hwan.
1962, 100 chon = 1 won.

Came under US military government on 8 September 1945. It was proclaimed a republic on 15 August 1948. US forces were withdrawn on 29 June 1949. When North Korean troops crossed the 38th Parallel on 25 June 1950, the United Nations (whose mission had been in Korea since 1948) condemned the act and called for a UN force to aid the South Koreans. The nations involved in the ensuing war were Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa and the USA most of which were served by their own Field POs.

Used stamps of Japan until 30 June 1946.

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