NK Caught Off Guard by Disappearance of Kim

North Korea’s new 5000
KPW bill, which enters circulation today, does not feature Kim Il Sung’s likeness. This means that, for the time being, Kim Il Sung’s image has disappeared from North Korean money completely.

A source in North Hamkyung Province told Daily
NK early on August 1st, “From this morning, Chosun Central Bank branches in every region started exchanging
the new 5000 bill.” He went on, “When we got the new ones we were surprised to
see that the Suryong does not appear.”

The front of the new 5000 won bill does not feature the benevolent image of Kim Il Sung of the previous version, introduced in 2009. Instead, there is an image of the house at Mankyungdae in Pyongyang that is propagandized as being Kim’s birthplace. In other words, the previous rear side of the bill has become the front.

The rear of the new bill features an image of the International Friendship Exhibition at Mt. Myohang, where gifts given to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il by figures in the international community are stored and displayed.

The design of the new bill is contrary to official directives released in the last week, since news of the upcoming switch started to leak. As one source in the country told Daily NK yesterday, “Regional
bank officials [told] heads of people’s units […] that the 5000 won would be
told the people’s unit heads to manage the new money very carefully as
likenesses of both the Kims appear on it.” The story was repeated in official meetings across the border region, as verified by Daily NK.

Kang Mi Jin
Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.