Long queues for stamps to mark South Korean President Moon Jae In's 100th day in office

South Korean President Moon Jae In at a press conference in the presidential residence Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) in Seoul, South Korea, on Aug 17, 2017.
South Korean President Moon Jae In at a press conference in the presidential residence Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) in Seoul, South Korea, on Aug 17, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - People hoping to buy commemorative stamps celebrating the inauguration of President Moon Jae In stood in long lines in front of post offices from early Thursday (Aug 17) morning, the liberal leader's 100th day in office.

According to Korea Post, the nation's postal service provider, about 300 citizens lined up in front of the Seoul Central Post Office in Jung-gu, central Seoul, before sales opened at 9am local time.

A total of five million ceremonial stamps, 500,000 stamp photo sheets and 20,000 stamp albums - printed with pictures of the President - went on sale at selected post offices nationwide and at the postal service's online mall.

The online server of Korea Post also crashed in the morning with users trying to access the site to buy the stamps online. Korea Post limited the number of stamp albums per person to one, and stopped online pre-orders for the albums, making them available only at post offices.

Upon noticing high demand through pre-orders, Korea Post decided to publish an additional 12,000 stamp albums. It is the first time the office is placing a second order for stamps on high demand.

"The additional products will be supplied before the end of this month," an official from the headquarters said.

Total sales of the stamps were not revealed as of Thursday afternoon.

The stamp album contains pictures of the President's life, including his childhood and when he was a presidential aide under the late former president Roh Moo Hyun.

The price for one stamp is 330 won (S$0.40), 420 won for the photo sheets and 23,000 won for the stamp album.

Dubbed "Inie goods" or "Moon-tem", merchandise related to the President have been very popular since he was elected.

From his autobiographical memoir Moon Jae In's Destiny to a striped shirt he had worn while making a phone call to United States President Donald Trump on Aug 7, the items have been bestsellers or sold out quickly after they were seen in the media.

The Asian edition of the Time magazine, featuring Mr Moon on its cover, sold out even after additional printing in May.

The high demand for the official goods reflects positive public sentiment towards the President, who took office after his predecessor Park Geun Hye, was ousted and jailed over a corruption scandal.

In the latest poll by Realmeter on Thursday, 71.2 per cent of 1,006 respondents supported the President, while 22.1 per cent expressed disapproval of the leader.

When asked about the strengths of the new government in a different Realmeter survey of 9,513 citizens, 23 per cent chose his policies that focus on the middle class and the disadvantaged in society.

His less authoritarian attitude, open image and attempts to communicate were named as other strengths, with 21.3 per cent mentioning his strong will. His promises for a comprehensive reform of society was the third most cited point, with 18.5 per cent.

While 33.5 per cent said there was nothing being done wrong by the Moon administration, 19.2 per cent expressed negativity towards his "stunt pledges".

Another 11.8 per cent mentioned his attempts to divide the nation between those in support and against him, while 10.6 per cent answered that he lacks the ability to deal with national security and foreign affairs.

On portal sites, such as Naver and Daum, the phrase "Thank You, Moon Jae In", appeared as the most frequently searched words on Thursday, as his fans sought to show their support online.

Eighteen commemorative stamps have been published to celebrate inaugurations since the nation's first president Rhee Syng Man in 1948. Only the fourth president Yun Po Sun, who led the country from 1960 to 1962, did not have any any ceremonial stamps published.