January 25, 2021

N. Korea’s currency problems go deeper than money

Regime-watcher talks about the consequences of Pyongyang’s failing currency

As of now, the highest denomination of currency in North Korea is 5,000 won, which in reality is only worth 70 cents. It isn’t practical or reliable, and its users have lost faith in their government’s ability to create an economically viable currency.

None of this changed in August when state officials announced the replacement of the 5,000 won bill. In fact, the most memorable aspect of this replacement was the disappearance of state leader Kim Il Sung's face from the bill.