DPRK goes euro, Part 1

According to the BBC:

North Korean authorities have told all holders of US dollar accounts in the country that they must change them into euro accounts by the end of this month. Reports in China’s state media say the new regulations have already been applied to North Koreans who hold dollars in cash. Foreign residents in the capital Pyongyang now say they have been informed by North Korean officials that starting from the end of this month all accounts and transactions currently in dollars must be conducted in euros. They say that suppliers based in China sending goods to North Korea have been given the same instruction. 

Interesting factoid from the article: The $US has been the most widely used currency in the DPRK–not just for international transactions–but in shops and markets within the country.  An unnamed academic claimed that because of this and the fact that most of the DPRK’s neighbors use the dollar, the “euroization” is not likely to succeed.  Speculation: I am not sure how this is supposed to “punish” the US in any real economic way.  The amount of seigniorage the US government collects due to citizens of the DPRK holding greenbacks can’t be that big.    

Putting on my “public choice” hat, this plan could also be a way of combating black market transactions, in which case, an argument with the US is just a nice excuse to mix things up.

From earlier in the day:
Sample notes nd coins have been displayed outside Pyongyang’s Korean Trade Bank


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