Published On: Wed, Aug 9th, 2017

Democratic people’s Princess? North Korea’s bizarre tribute to Diana revealed


Despite being separated from the rest of the world, the spectacle of the royal wedding between Charles and Diana led to celebrations in the hermit kingdom.

And the birth of Prince William caused furthers outpourings of support from the secretive state.

The Royals were immortalised in a series of commemorative stamps sold in Pyongyang during the rule of Kim Jong-un’s equally autocratic father Kim Jong-il.

One collection marked “DPR Korea” showed Diana and Prince Charles at their wedding while another, released in 1982, marks the then-Princess of Wales’ 21st birthday.

Experts say the collections were released in a bid to raise cash for the hard-up regime.

Ross King, the head of Asia studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada, claims they were sold as collectors’ items.

He said: “In the broad scheme of things, collector-oriented stamps far outweigh those with a political message.

“They even had Princess Diana on the stamps back in the 80s when they thought that Brits were buying stamps.

“The US is another country that uses the postal service to make a ton of money off gullible collectors.”

Dutch stamp dealer Willem van der Bijl said that Pyongyang now targeted the growing Chinese market.

He said: “Most of them don’t have a high market value. New issues, in mint condition, sell for around $0.50 (39p).

“But they’re just printing paper – which is worth nothing – and receiving valuable dollars for it. It’s more or less free money.

“Nobody in Europe or North America collects stamps anymore. Now, they’re pushing Chinese themes because they know collectors are buying them.”

More recently the DPRK celebrated its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test with another series of stamps.

The set contains several stamps showing the missile preparing to be fired and soaring into the sky, as well as two more showing leader Kim Jong-un signing the launch order, and celebrating after.

In a statement published by the state-run news agency KCNA, officials said: “All those stamps represent the success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-14, a breakthrough into the final stage of rounding off the national nuclear force.

“It is a great victory won by North Korea in the anti-imperialist, anti-US showdown.”


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