Jan. 23 (UPI) — North Korea may not be issuing anti-American stamps this year, a possible sign the regime is interested in resuming dialogue with the United States, according to a South Korean analyst.
Lee Sang-hyun, chief executive of South Korean firm Taein, and a member of a sports committee under the Korean Council for Reconciliation, a nonprofit, told reporters on Thursday that Pyongyang is likely refraining from producing stamps with anti-American messages, News 1 reported.
Lee, who has visited the North and has previously organized an exhibit of North Korean stamps in the South, said North Korea’s political stamps for 2020 refer to domestic anniversaries, including birthdays of former leader Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Other stamps mark anniversaries of “revolution” and “liberation,” Lee said.
The decision to not issue anti-American stamps is a break from past practice. From 2015 to 2018, the Kim Jong Un regime issued anti-American stamps that included “colorful rhetoric” about the United States, according to the report.
In 2018,North Korea changed strategy and Kim Jong Un held landmark summits with U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The stamps are drafted and finalized the previous year; in 2017, tensions were at a record high between North Korea and the United States.
Lee said Thursday North Korea’s decision to not issue anti-American stamps could mean the country wants to continue talks with Washington within the “larger framework of U.S.-North Korea dialogue.”
If relations deteriorate, North Korea could suddenly decide to issue anti-American stamps, Lee said.
North Korea has turned down offers of talks with the South, souring opinions among South Koreans following the breakdown of U.S.-North Korea talks in Hanoi.
South Korea restricts citizens from promoting North Korea.
MoneyToday reported Thursday the Korea Communications Standards Commission is to deliberate on various South Korean websites dealing with the North to determine whether their activities need to be curtailed.
The commission is to consider the objectives of the distribution, the content of the postings and the proportion of “illegal posts” before issuing cease-and-desist notices, according to the report.