A reporting partner in northern part of North Korea reported that the crackdown on the use of Chinese currency at markets has been reinforced. Surveillance cameras are installed at the markets and, sometimes, the Chinese money are confiscated if used. (Kang Ji-won/ISHIMARU Jiro)
On telephone conversation of November 7, a reporting partner in Yanggang Province said “Crackdown on use of Chinese money is so severe. They used to ignore it before, just implying not to use them anymore. But they forfeit the money if they happen to see it.”
The North Korean authority has regulated the use of foreign currency at the market, but it has been tolerated to some extent. Merchants have used the Chinese money openly if they could evade the eyes of the market controllers. Giving changes in the Chinese money used to be common. As the value of North Korean Won has decreased constantly, so its low credibility has made people to use safe currency, namely foreign money. Meanwhile, the devaluation of the North Korean Won has stopped during the last two years.
The partner explained the toughness of the crackdown, saying “Disciplinary Units forfeit all the money from either the seller or the buyer if they happened to see the Chinese money by pretending to be a buyer in plain clothes. It is the same as people give away Chinese money to the Disciplinary Unit if they go to the market with Chinese currency.”