A spiralling international row over North Korean nuclear weapons has claimed an unexpected victim – a furious stamp seller from Saltdean.

Authorities in the US have banned Ray Robbins from trading his popular stamps from the Communist country after April 9.

The embargo was announced last month after escalating threats towards Western nations from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

But after the ban comes into force, out-of-pocket Mr Robbins will be left licking his wounds, as well as his stamps.

He said: “It’s ridiculous really. I sell most of my North Korean ones on the internet and collectors love them. They are one of my most popular items.

“But I got an email from eBay, my online auction website, telling me the US Treasury had banned any stamps or money from there.

“It seems unbelievable that a nuclear threat thousands of miles away could have anything to do with me selling my stamps here in Saltdean.”

In the last week, frantic collectors from all over the world have been rushing to Mr Robbins to stock up on North Korean goodies before the ban begins on April 9.

He said: “Kim Il Sung’s 64th birthday stamp has been selling like hot cakes – I’ve done plenty of those.

“And I’ve got a few showing cosmonauts in space that do well too. Normally I sell two or three in a month but I sold nine last weekend alone.”

The warning message sent to Mr Robbins from the auction website read: “eBay’s policy prohibits the sale of most items that originate from North Korea due to sanctions enforced by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Therefore, as of April 9, 2013 we will no longer allow listings for stamps, coins or paper money from North Korea.”

Mr Robbins, who has been running his Saltdean Stamps shop in Longridge Road for 18 months, said the ban “just seemed silly”.

He said: “It’s not going to ruin me but it doesn’t help at all. “What have I got to do with North Korea?”