It was confirmed that even in the recent situation that the U.S has imposed an additional sanction against North Korea, super-notes have been circulating in and around North Korea. Super-notes are most delicately made counterfeit dollar bills.
In order to confirm whether or not recently North Korean counterfeit dollar bills are circulating, DailyNK purchased a super-note from a governmental trader in North Korea again following last January.
Last 22nd, Cho Chun Ho(pseudonym, 38), businessman trading with North Korea in Dandong China, tapped on the possibility of purchasing counterfeit dollar bills. He said that, “If we try to contact with sellers first, they (traders belong to the department of the general rear management under North Korean Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces) will check out a few details about us”, and “so purchasing bills could take time”.
After two days, Cho Chun Ho called us and said that, “I asked them to give a sample of a super-note to me to show it to a purchaser”. “They trusted and gave me one because I have always traded with them. Even now, the quality of the counterfeit dollar bills are so good that we cannot purchase them at under 70 dollars”.
Cho also said that, “If you want to purchase a great quantity, I will connect you to them”, adding “they are the last products so that you had better hurry up”. ‘The last product’ seems to be related to the new 100 dollar bills plan of the U.S.
On the 28th, we revisited Global Standard KEB with the new super-note we purchased in Dandong. The person in charge of counterfeit dollar bills at Global Standard KEB judged it a super-note made in 2003. He added that, “recently such 5 or 6 super-notes have been reported”.
He said that, “the counterfeit dollar bills made in 2001 begin with the serial number ‘C’, and most elaborate ones made in 2003 begin with ‘D’. The counterfeit dollar bills beginning with ‘D’ is most circulating super-notes”. Subsequently, he said that, “Because the U.S plans to issue new 100 dollar bills, the great quantity of the counterfeit dollar bills is very likely to be distributed and circulated”.
In early January of this year, DailyNK purchased a super-note made in North Korea and Global Standard KEB judged it a super-note. Seo Tae Suk, the best counterfeit dollar bill discerner in Korea and work at Global Standard KEB stated that, “It must be the most recently issued super-note”.
Since the U.S financial sanction against North Korea, North Korea has feigned ‘to be ignorant’ about the counterfeit dollar manufacture. Last March, during a talk between the U.S and North Korea, it admitted its substantial responsibility and even suggested an association between North Korea and the U.S, yet there has been no progress.
On the 26th, in regards to the counterfeit dollar manufacture spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of North Korea claimed that, “We set up a perfect legal and institutional environment to prevent the illegal activities such as forgery bills and money laundering”, adding, “We are not the counterfeiter and rather, the victim of the counterfeit dollar manufacture and circulation because of the U.S”.
Yet, DailyNK found out that such a claim of North Korea is completely different from the fact, and counterfeit dollar bills have still been circulating. Furthermore, DailyNK verified such super-notes have been circulating even in North Korea at 70 dollars.(DailyNK report of July 31st “Counterfeit Dollar Bills, ‘Unofficial but Public Currency’ Circulated in North Korean Market”)
Recently, an information source informed that the counterfeit dollar bills have been distributed via Vietnam. He also said that if the counterfeit dollar bills are blocked from the foreign passages such as Vietnam, they are likely to flow backwards to North Korea. Yet it does not happen yet. The super-notes did not fall in price.
In the meanwhile, in the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly, Kim Seung Kyu, the Chairman of the National Intelligence Service, revealed that, “A suspect under indictment on a charge of smuggling counterfeit dollar bills by the U.S investigation authority stated he had manufactured super-notes in North Korea at a trial.