Special Stamps - North Korea
North Korea, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it has been known since the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945, is one of the most secluded countries in the world. There is very little contact with the outside world, and there is a great deal of secrecy as to what is actually going on in the country.
North Korea was established as a Socialist state at the end of World War II, and in cooperation with the Soviet Union, Kim Il-sung was named chairman of the Provisional People's Committee for North Korea, and later became the Supreme Leader and Sun of The Nation. Kim Il-sung has been a very popular motif for stamps ever since the formation of North Korea, and he is often depicted receiving praise from the people.
Here Kim Il-sung is depicted on a stamp from 1976, in celebration of his 64th birthday. He is portrayed in the midst of the people, but significantly larger than the people surrounding him.
Ever since Kim Il-sung became the Supreme Leader of North Korea, the country has moved towards a totalitarian dictatorship, with a cult-like depiction of the leader of the country. Kim Il-sung was seen as the Supreme Leader, who by default couldn't make mistakes - his way of thinking was the correct way of thinking. When he died, this royalty-like status was then passed on to his son, Kim Jong-il, depicted here on a stamp from 1992, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his birth.
Conditions for the average North Korean have been bad for a long time, and according to Amnesty International, North Korea is the worst country in the world, when it comes to human rights.
One thing North Korea does well is stamps - North Korean stamps are often spectacular, as they contain a wide variety of colors and designs, as well as a range of popular motifs.
A range of motifs are used continuously, and these include The Supreme Leader, Military, Flora, Fauna, and Sports. Clicking the links will take you to the respective searches. Both Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un have been heavily featured as well.
Apart from the motifs, North Korean stamps often have spectacular colors and the images are often beautiful. Often the beautiful stamps are propaganda to further an agenda, but for a collector, they are simply beautiful stamps. See for instance this mini-sheet from 2013.
It was issued in relation to the New Year's speech of Kim Jong-un, and highlights certain aspects of the speech, especially the military, and the developments in the the science program. The sheet contains four beautifully colored stamps, which would all be great additions to any stamp collection.