Pyongyang has restricted the use of the dollar in the markets to make its national currency, The North Korean won, rise sharply in value, a South Korean intelligence source told the AP agency.
In October, the North Korean authorities reportedly executed a prominent currency trader “as a scapegoat,” the AP notes. However, there is no data to confirm this information.
In this way, the supreme leader of the country, Kim Jong-un, who previously allowed companies and farmers to freely sell a considerable portion of their production, which led to the formation of a kind of market economy, seeks to prevent the collapse of the national currency during the pandemic.
South Korean analysts agree that this measure by Pyongyang is doomed to failure and the citizens of the Asian country will try to save as much foreign currency as possible despite the restrictions.
One of the analysts at the think tank sponsored by the South Korean intelligence services, Lim Soo-ho warned that in 2021, should the global pandemic continue, North Korea could face a severe economic crisis comparable to the famine that killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in the 1990s.