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North Korea catches Olympic spirit through stamps

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SEOUL, Feb 21 (Reuters) Reclusive North Korea has caught the Olympic spirit and today said it would issue sheets of commemorative stamps to celebrate the Turin Winter Olympics.

''The sheetlet contains individual stamps reflecting figure skating, hockey, skiing and speed skating players against scenes of various events of the Winter Olympics,'' its official KCNA news agency said.

North Korean and South Korean athletes marched together under a flag showing a unified Korean peninsula at the opening ceremonies of the Turin Games. The two Koreas have said they want to field a joint team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Since South Korea, which is still technically at war with North Korea, does not have mail service with its neighbour on the peninsula, it is unlikely that many people in the South will ever see the Olympic stamps.

The North Koreans also issued stamps to commemorate the Athens Summer Games of 2004, the first time they had done so.

REUTERS SC KP1717

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