October 01, 2023

How COVID-19 is giving a boost to North Korea’s central bank

Border controls have dampened demand for forex, increasing the won’s value and giving the bank greater leverage

The North Korean Central Bank, long handicapped by ideological demands and Kim family loyalty above sound economic decision-making, appears to be well-positioned to claw back greater control over the domestic economy during the pandemic, even as it remains mostly cut off from foreign goods and currencies.

The primary reason is that Kim Jong Un’s decision to all but seal his country’s borders for almost two years has led to a dramatic drop in demand for foreign currency.