North Korea Executes Official Over Botched Currency Reform

Kim Jung Ill

Let this be a warning.


A former top North Korean official has reportedly been executed over his handling of last year’s botched attempt at currency reform that triggered widespread unrest.

Pak Nam-gi, the former chief of the ruling Workers’ Party finance and planning department, was executed by firing squad last week South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

The execution took place at a military range outside of the capital, Pyongyang, the agency said citing unidentified sources.

Pak spearheaded last November’s currency revaluation as part of the North’s efforts to resolve worsening inflation.

What, exactly, was the issue?

The move was also seen by many observers as an attempt by the country’s leaders to reassert control over an emergent market economy.

But the scheme, which involved redenominating the North Korean won, reportedly lead to widespread panic and unrest as many North Koreans saw their savings wiped out.

Yonhap said Pak was executed after he was accused of ruining the nation’s economy through the currency revaluation.

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