Posted August. 18, 2017 07:25,
Updated August. 18, 2017 07:52
Little collectors stood a long line at a postal office to buy a stamp celebrating the inauguration of the then President Chun Doo-hwan on the evening of a day before the sale of the stamp on Sept. 5, 1980. The Dong-A Ilbo covered a photo of children sleeping in a phone booth where they took shelter from rain. Was it because they wanted to see a new president’s face just out of curiosity after the president who they saw almost their lifetime was gone, though former President Choi Kyu-hah served only for a short period?
Was it because he was encouraged by the popularity of his first stamps or was it out of competition for loyalty? Former President Chun issued stamps with his face 47 times, the most in history. In contrast, former President Yun Po-sun did not issue his stamp. Park Geun-hye stamp, which was issued upon her inauguration in February 2013, was in short supply. It was partly due to the fact that she was the first Korean female president and also due to a 60 percent reduction in issuance volume compared to her predecessor.
President Moon Jae-in who has a strong fan base shows higher popularity in presidential stamps. The Gwanghwamun Post Office next to the office building of the Dong-A Ilbo had a long line as people gathered to buy a stamp in the wee hours. To mark the 100th day of inauguration, Korea Post issued five million post stamps celebrating President Moon’s inauguration, 500,000 small sheets and 20,000 stamp albums. The album was particularly popular as it portrayed President Moon’s life journey from his school years, wedding to a picture with late former President Roh Moo-hyun and his inauguration ceremony. Album collectors walked around to buy an album at 50,000 won (43.88 dollars). It is the first time that a president’s stamp albums were decided to be published additionally (12,000 volumes).
A president’s stamp is very popular in the beginning of his term but with a different destiny after the end of the term. President Moon said in his speech celebrating the National Liberation Day, “I, President Moon Jae-in, is also part of the history of all presidents of the Republic of Korea including Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun as well as Rhee Syng-man and Park Chung-hee. The issuance of a stamp celebrating the 100thbirthday of former President Park Chung-hee, among President Moon’s predecessors, was cancelled after Moon took office. It remains to be seen how the “history of all presidents” will record the “destiny” of Moon Jae-in stamps.