Park Nam Ki Arrested for Currency Debacle

Park Nam Ki, the former Director of the Planning and Financial Department of the Central Committee who was dismissed for his role in the failed currency redenomination, was reportedly arrested in January.

It is known that he worked as Director until January 9, but has not been seen publicly since then. He had been in charge of managing Party funds since 2005.

It is alleged that before the redenomination he submitted a report claiming that the authorities would be able to improve the people’s lives and secure the national budget if they implemented it. This got Kim Jong Il’s agreement, however, soaring prices and exchange rates proved him wrong, and he was fired.

Defectors in Seoul with connections in North Korea say that Park was then publicly denounced as a traitor at a Party convention on the subject of the redenomination in Pyongyang in late-January, and arrested on the spot. Some of them have also heard rumors that he has been executed, though these are unverified.

After Park’s dismissal, officials who had been in charge of trade with China and economic cooperation with the South apparently took on his tasks in the economic field of the Central Committee of the Party.

A defector in her 50s who used to live in Pyongyang and defected in 2009 said the story is believable, “It is possible because such cases have happened before in North Korea, such as Seo Gwan Hee.”

A former Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Seo was publicly executed on the trumped up charge of spying, but was actually a scapegoat for the catastrophic March of Tribulation.

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