BREAKING NEWS
Air Asia flight from Indonesia to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control ... Read more
Close

North Korea's Kim Il-Sung disappears from banknotes

Last updated 12:10 12/08/2014

Relevant offers

World

US economic growth surges Man wakes from coma thinking he is Matthew McConaughey Informal capital controls arrest Russian rouble's slide Judge approves record $500m settlement over deadly Kilmore East-Kinglake Black Saturday bushfires China boom turns down Man to pay $1.9 million to victims of credit card fraud Russia's economic reality shirtfronts Vladimir Putin Fed confident on US growth Avon pleads guilty to China bribes Sea Shepherd intercepts boat suspected of illegal fishing

The portrait of Kim Il-Sung, founder of North Korea and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un, has disappeared from the nation's bank notes.

The move has baffled North Korea commentators as they try to work out what the removal of the "Great Leader" from the 5000 won notes could mean.

The new notes now feature an image of of Kim's childhood home on one side, and on the other an image of a museum in Pyongyang that contains gifts from international leaders.

According to South Korean newspaper the Chosun Ilbo, 5000 won is nominally worth around US$50 ($59), but its actual market value is closer to US$1. 

North Korean state workers are paid an average 3000 won a month.

When the new bank notes were officially announced on July 25, people believed it was the result of a currency reform and began stockpiling food, the newspaper reported.

But some North Korea watchers say the change was simply to ensure consistency, as other notes feature images of the birthplaces of Kim Jong-il and his mother Kim Jong-suk.

Other sources told the Chosun Ilbo it was because the note was easy to forge, and there were too many fakes in circulation.

South-North Korea relations expert Yoon Young-kwan of Seoul National University said by removing his grandfather's image, Kim Jong-un was showing he would follow an "independent path" to develop North Korea's economy.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content