An NKSIS source reported April 26th, "A special team has been created by order of the Party Central Military Commission to track the origins of forged North Korean currency found in the city of Pyongyang, as well as Yangkang and North Hamkyong provinces. It was put together on the 24th April."
Quoting an insider in the Security Department the source said, "The Central Military Commission has ordered the immediate tracking of the individual responsible for manufacturing the forged 5,000 won notes recently uncovered in Pyongsung and Pyongyang's markets. The 5,000 won note contains a portrait of Kim Il-sung. The ten member team responsible for investigating the incident comprises security agents and Central Bank employees."
According to the source, 75 thousand to 1 million dollars worth of currency was boxed in the forgery location and is being distributed around the provinces. 30% of the notes delivered to each province are intended to be exchanged in dollars or yuan in the first instance. Up until last year, forged North Korean currency was exchanged for medicinal plants or some such resource in a complicated exchange procedure. This year, however, it is being converted in straight currency swaps.
"The recently discovered forged currency," added the source "is such a high quality precise forgery that it is passable to both the naked eye and specially designed currency analysing machinery. They are so-called 'supernotes', good enough to be directly exchanged for another currency."
In order to uncover the origins of the notes, the North Korean authorities have marshalled the Ministry of People's Security, the National Security Agency, and Military Security Ministry. Discovering the currency's origins is not expected to be simple. This is not only because of the forged currency's authentic looking imprimatur but also because regional gangs have joined hands to put it into circulation.
"Rumors of another 'currency reform' are going round the markets, while stall owners and the like hush it up. In ten days, "said the source, "the North Korean won - dollar rate has gone from 2,600 won to $1 up to between 2,700 and 2,800 won to the dollar in the border areas."
"This issue," finished the source, "could be a greater threat than the 2009 Currency Reform, after which people wondered just how far the North Korean won could sink. That was more of a problem for the people of the North. This current currency incident could effect the North Korean structure, leading to regime stability concerns."
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