DPRK

North Korea Today No. 321 - Jan 2010

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Prices Rise in the Hamgyong Province After Ban on Use of Foreign Currency

Ever since the use of foreign currency has been forbidden and the use of exchange voucher mandated, prices have been rising in the North and South Hamgyong Provinces because goods sold in foreign shops are no longer available. People do not exchange large sums of foreign currency because it reveals how much foreign currency an individual or companies possess. As a result, there has been a decrease in the number of sellers who purchased goods in foreign currency shops with exchange voucher to sell them in the northern region. As goods become scarce in the northern region, prices are rising. For example, on December 31, a pack of Cat Cigarette doubled its price from 25 won to 50 won, and the price of sugar rose from 70 won to 100 won. People are saying, "The government's financial incentives are not sufficient to help us, and the decrease in the value of money worsened our living conditions." Others are saying, "Prices rose since the ban on the use of foreign currency. That has made our lives more difficult."