North Korea has made headlines recently for launching new missiles, showing off its latest submarines, and publicly executing prisoners.
Less noticed, it’s also recently released stamps featuring US president Donald Trump with Kim Jong Un.
According to Kyodo News, a set of stamps commemorating the one-year anniversary of the leaders’ Singapore summit was released on June 12, and is now for sale in Pyongyang.
One stamp shows the first Trump-Kim handshake, while another shows the two signing a joint agreement after the historic meeting.
More stamps are on the way, this time centered on Trump’s “lightning meeting” with Kim in June at the DMZ, the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea, where he became the first US president to step into North Korea.
Unlikely to be officially commemorated is the second summit between the leaders, which took place in Vietnam in February and ended in failure, when Trump abruptly walked away from negotiations.
North Korea is believed to want the United States to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang.
The two countries remain in a technical state of war, as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.
Ensuring the continuation of the current political system led by the Kim family is a long-sought goal by Pyongyang.
On Friday, North Korea’s state-run media reported that Kim oversaw the “demonstration” firing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon” on Thursday to send a warning to the South against holding a joint military drill with the United States next month.
North Korea has long called on the United States and the South to halt joint military exercises, which Pyongyang regards as rehearsals for invasion.
The UN says North Koreans live under “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations”.
The state controls everything, and actively spies on its citizens using a vast surveillance and informer network.
The economy is also strictly controlled and the government funnels money into its nuclear and missile program despite widespread shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities.