Australia and the Republic of Korea are marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries with the release of a joint stamp issue. This joint stamp release is a first between the two nations. The Australian stamps include a domestic rate (60c) stamp and an international rate ($1.65) stamp. The Korean stamps have their own denominations.
"Australia and South Korea have formed a significant bond since the Korean War. We're delighted to be releasing a joint stamp issue in this special Year of Friendship," said Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Mr Michael Zsolt. "We worked closely with Korea Post and hope this joint stamp issue further demonstrates Australia's growing relationship with South Korea."
The stamps feature ancient musical traditions of both countries. The 60 cent stamp features a woman playing a traditional Korean musical instrument known as a haegeum. This stamp was designed by Mr Jae-Yong Shin of Korea Post. Mr Shin recently designed the 2011 Korean-Made Characters stamps (series one).
The $1.65 stamp features an Australian Indigenous musician playing the didgeridoo, a long wind instrument that originated in northern Australia at least 1,500 years ago. This stamp was illustrated by well-known Australian designer Brian Clinton. Mr Clinton designed the 2010 stamp issue to commemorate the Kokoda Campaign of 1942.
This stamp issue includes a special large stamp pack with a sheetlet of 10 x 60c stamps. The pack also includes a Quick Response (QR) code for use with a smartphone. By scanning the code, customers can access a short film of a haegeum musician online.