North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

MPS on Alert after DPRK Changes Currency

Daily NK reports that the DPRK “has revalued and replaced its national currency.”  Northeast Asia Matters carries the complete English variant of the article, as well as the Korean version of the article.  Northeast Asia Matters notes “One thing the Korean version mentions that the English version above does not is that the Ministry of People’s Security is on full alert to watch the people’s reactions and control any “problems” associated with the issuance of new money.”

That MPS may be on “full alert” may have been a policy Kim Jong-il brought with his guidance when he inspected the MPS headquarters last week.  General-Secretary Kim may have also provided Minister of Public Security, Gen. Ju Sang-song, a gentle reminder about the new North Korean currency policy during his inspection tour of the Taedonggang Combined Fruit Farm over the weekend.  The Taedonggang Combined Fruit Farm was constructed and under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security.

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  1. RPL
    December 1, 2009

    Is this the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

    • nkleadershipwatch
      December 1, 2009

      Were an active transfer of power taking place in the DPRK, a currency revaluation would indicate a dromedary with a broken back.

      There are economic reasons for a currency change, to be sure. Northeast Asia Matters has updates and Curtis has the reports here.

      I believe this has more to do with population control and market crackdowns of the last year. Previous enforcement mechanisms by the KWP and Ministry of Public Security had mixed results. Revaluing the currency would seem to be one of the ultimate enforcement mechanisms at the leadership’s disposal.

      With regard to the MPS being on high alert; if the currency is revalued and there is no official announcement, North Korean citizens relying on gossip about this policy change, local MPS officials can take station near currency traders and see who’s looking desperate. From the perspective, of the DPRK Leadership, this is a way to flush out the rats.

      In the latest edition of the DPRK Constitution issued at the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly, Article 21 reads, in part, “The property of the State shall be the property of all the people. There shall be no limit to the property that the State can own.”

      One may also look to Article 24:”Private property is comprised of the socialist distribution according to the results of labor and additional benefits of the state and society. The products of individual sideline activities, including those from garden plot farming, and the income derived from other legal economic activities shall also belong to private property. . .”

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This article was written on 30 Nov 2009, and is filled under Guidance Tours, Kim Jong-il, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Security, On the Spot Guidance, social control.

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