Wednesday, December 14, 2016

South Korea 2016 - Nature in DMZ (1st)

ISSUE DATE: 22 November 2016
STAMP SIZE:40 x 30 mm
STAMP DESIGN: Park Eunkyung

Korea is the only divided nation in the world today. The Korean War, which broke out on June 25, 1950, ended on July 27, 1953 with an armistice agreement signed by the United Nations, China, and North Korea. Created by the agreement, the demilitarized zone (DMZ) has divided the Korean peninsula roughly in half and has remained as a painful reminder for more than six decades of Korea’s division.

The DMZ is a buffer zone that maintains a distance between the troops of the two sides in order to prevent further military conflict. When the war ended, the 248-km military demarcation line (MDL) was created from the estuary of the Imjingang River on the west coast to Goseong on the east coast, and the DMZ was established as the area 2 km to each side of the MDL line.

In recent years, the DMZ has drawn attention more as an ecological treasure trove than a symbol of the tragic history of the divided nation. Because the area has been virtually inaccessible by humans for over six decades, the ecology has remained unspoiled. Its unique geography of mountains, prairies, swamps, lakes, and tidal marshes has made the DMZ one of the most ecologically valuable areas in the world.

According to the Korean Ministry of Environment, there is in fact great biodiversity, including some near-extinct species, in the area. The DMZ is home to musk deer, goats, and otters, all of which are classified as class I endangered wildlife; as well as flying squirrels, martens, and argynnis nerippes, which belong to class II. Ecologists have identified various globally-rare plants in the region, including melandryum capidatum and iris ruthenica, both of which are classified as class II endangered wild plants.

Korea Post is issuing special stamps featuring the winners of the Beautiful Nature of the DMZ Photo Contest hosted by the Ministry of Environment to showcase the natural beauty and ecological value of the DMZ and to remind the public of the longing for peaceful national unification.


The 2009 documentary film by Bartosz Konopka and Piotr Rosołowski tells the story of the rabbits living in the grassy space between the two layers of the Berlin Wall and their fate at the fall of communism and the toppling of the wall. 

Stamp images and description thanks to Korea Post

South Korea Post