Moon inaugural stamps sell like hotcakes
“I’ve been standing in line since 8 a.m.,” said Kim Mi-ji, a 30-year-old office worker standing outside the Gwanghwamun post office around 10 a.m. on Thursday.
“Ever since I was old enough to vote, this is the first time that the candidate I voted for became the president. So I’m buying the stamps to remember the president’s inauguration.”
Thursday was the 100th day since Moon’s inauguration.
“The people started lining up from very early in the morning,” said an employee of the post office as he handed out pieces of paper with numbers indicating their turn. The number had hit 360 by 10 a.m.
Korea Post is selling 5 million stamps dedicated to Moon, each showing him smiling with the national flag in the background and costing 330 won ($0.29); 500,000 additional stamps made with a photo of Moon taken during his inauguration day, costing 420 won each; and 32,000 stamp collections - each containing 16 of the 330 won stamps, one of the 420 won stamp, a special envelope and a collection of stamps made with photos of Moon from when he was young to when he was sworn in as president - each collection costing 23,000 won.
Korea Post had initially planned to make only 20,000 stamp collections but extended the number to 32,000 after the spike in demand. Purchase of the stamp collection is limited to one per person, it said.
A total of 220 branch offices of Korea Post throughout the country began offering the stamps and opened registration to buy stamp collections from Thursday. People stood in queues outside many of these branch offices, including the ones in Gwanghwamun and Busan.
Individual online posts advertising the sale of stamp collections surfaced on Thursday, too.
“Selling the Moon Jae-in stamp collection at 110,000 won,” wrote a user at an online community where people can buy and sell used or new goods.
Korea Post has been issuing stamps dedicated to presidents since the inauguration of the first president of Korea, Syngman Rhee.
The stamp dedicated to the inauguration of former President Park Geun-hye, impeached and being tried while detained for a power abuse scandal, sold out when issued in 2013. The Korea Post issued 2.18 million stamps for Park, less than half the number of stamps issued for some of the other former presidents.
It issued 5.04 million stamps dedicated to the inauguration of former President Lee Myung-bak, some 4.72 million of which were purchased, and 7 million stamps for former President Roh Moo-hyun, 6.43 million of which were purchased.
BY HONG SANG-JI, ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]