Currency experiment failing in North Korea
ICC Note: Open Doors discusses implications of reform for Persecuted Christians
7/23/10 North Korea (MNN) ― North Korea’s “currency reforms” have had disastrous consequences.
The economy has gone into free fall since the reforms went into place in November 2009. Carl Moeller with Open Doors explains that the country is in chaos and panic. “People who’ve done everything possible for their entire lifetime to save a meager sum of money found it devalued a thousand fold.”
One thousand won would be worth only 10, and it costs a hundred times that for two kilos of rice and some water. “The food has become way too expensive,” says an Open Doors source. “You can compare the first months of this year with the 1990s when so many people died of starvation. The situation has improved somewhat, but horrendous things are still taking place”
Worse yet, Moeller says, “Wages are no longer being paid. How can you work without wages? What will keep you from revolt? If North Korea goes into chaos, truly, the actions of a madman can’t be predicted.”
The government also announced in December 2009 that people could only use U.S., European, and Chinese currencies.
Most people were surviving before, but even that is in question now. North Korea is first on the Open Doors World Watch List of the top 50 nations persecuting Christians, which means they are at the bottom of the economic ladder.
Moeller says Open Doors has been helping, and it is keeping the spark of the Gospel bright. “We’ve had numerous reports that Bibles, radios, food, clothing and shelter has literally been the difference in some cases between a despairing and defeated and even extinct church, and a church that’s been able to survive and reach out to its neighbors.”