A source relates that in the ten days since September 29th, the foreign exchange rate and price of rice have suddenly leapt 1.2 and 1.5 times respectively. As of September 29th, the foreign exchange rate had been hovering at about the 2,700 to 2,800 mark. But the source reported an increase to the 3,200 level starting on the Party Foundation Anniversary on October 10th by October 12th. Rice, which had been selling at 1,800 won a kilo in Pyongyang's Naesongshin and Yokjeon markets had reached a valuation of 2,600 - 2,700 by October 12th.
"Right now, we lack definitive concrete proof," said the source about the cause of the ten day sudden prices rise, "But if I were to conjecture I would hazard that the government's financial consulting authority agency's sucking of money out of the market would be at the root of it."
At present the source's words could mean that the market authorities and administrators think there is a lot of new money suddenly in the markets. Prices have now stabilized somewhat but rice is still 500 - 600 won more expensive. This is inspite of the fact that the new crop of the year should be bringing prices down and goes someway to supporting the sources views.
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