December 07, 2009 09:00
The Choson Sinbo, a North Korea mouthpiece published in Japan, on Friday published pictures of new bills and coins which the North is releasing in its latest currency reform.
The large-denomination bills, such as those worth 5,000 and 2,000 won, bear the stamp "2008" on the upper left. Images of the 500, 200, 100, 50, 10 and 5 won bills and those on the back of 1 won, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 jeon coins bear the stamp "2002."
This suggests the North had already printed them well in advance of last week's shock announcement.
"It seems that the North printed the new bills and coins in 2002 when it implemented the July 1 economic reform plan, where it introduced a modicum of market capitalism, but decided not to circulate the new currency that year apparently due to runaway inflation," a source said. "And the North again apparently prepared for currency reform in 2008 by printing new large-denomination bills but postponed the reform because leader Kim Jong-il had a stroke."
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