North-Korea arrests man, charging him with the crime of philately

Pyongyang – Dutch Philatelist Willem van der Bijl has been imprisoned in North-Korea for two weeks for the horrendous crime of philately, an act that endangers Korea’s state security.

After Van der Bijl had disappeared during a visit to Korea, an article appeared in the English language state paper The Pyongyang times where he claims to be “greatly impressed by the free and democratic elections” and having “a better understanding of the DPRK’s reality.”

Van der Bijl is a philatelist, which is an activity completely counter to state security. Buying and selling large quantities of postal stamps owned by The People is a crime in Korea, due to speculation laws. While it is not officially confirmed that this was the reason for his arrest, well, it’s an as good explaination as any.

All is well for Willem, although he doesn’t go to deep into these circumstances as he fears for the fate of his Korean co-conspiritors. He has been to Korea before, as he is an avid collector of Korean propaganda art. This time he must have done something to piss off 위대한령도자김정일동지 (Great Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il.)

For more background see: NOS