Author Topic: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck  (Read 1618 times)

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Offline Bimat

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North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« on: April 13, 2015, 04:58:47 PM »
North Korean Coins Bring 'Unlucky Days'

With the increased use of the Chinese yuan and U.S. dollar within North Korea, the local currency is considered much less valuable by many, including young children, especially when it comes to the lower denomination coins, a source in the North told Daily NK on April 10th.

In response to the question, “How valuable is the North Korean won?” asked by a source in North Pyongan Province, not only adults but also children as young as kindergartners shook their heads, indicating they do not consider it to be of much value. “The women who sell goods at the markets will even say the day is unlucky if they find a North Korean coin on the streets,” the source in North Pyongan Province said.

She added, “Many believe that the first sale of the day determines the daily outlook; a purchase from a male customer is seen as a sign that a given vendor will make a lot of money that day. However, if they pick up a North Korean coin before anyone buys from them then, rather strangely, business is bad for the day.”

Games are really the only worth North Korean coins hold at this point, according to the source. 100 KPW [0.01 USD] or 200 KPW [0.02 USD] are used to play popular games such as damalchigi [a game in which you try to flip over the opponents’ coin with your breath] or ddangddameokki [a game in which one tries to win over territory by flicking coins into ridges in the ground].

Ice cream sold on the streets, generally bought by students, fetches 1,000 [0.13 USD] to 2,000 KPW [0.25 USD] now, essentially stripping small coinage of any viable use. "Some students even joke that the coins could become precious antiques in the next few decades and that they should try to preserve them,” she said.

In order to reduce people’s dependency on foreign currency, North Korea has repeatedly attempted to tighten its control on the use of overseas money--with little success. This is because the local won has yet to regain its credibility after taking a nosedive in 2009--a catastrophic consequence of the state's botched currency reform. In today's North Korea, foreign currency reigns over all business transactions, from wholesale transactions to truck delivery fares and price tags displayed at the markets.

“Some senior citizens even jest that the state removed the portrait of founder Kim Il Sung from the 5,000 KPW bill out of fear that his dignity would be undermined along with the local currency,” the source said, adding that many worry about the stability of a country whose currency is worth little more than "scraps of paper."

Source: Daily NK
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Offline Bimat

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North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 05:03:06 PM »
North Koreans still use North Korean coins? This is news to me! :o

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Manzikert

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 10:45:56 PM »
Also, when was the 200 won circulation coin introduced?: the highest denomination I know of is only 100 won, and there is a 200 won banknote.

Alan

Offline Pabitra

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 04:13:55 AM »
The currency amendment took place in 2008 and now the highest coin is 1 Won.
It is subdivided into 100 Chon.
The older coins are worthless.

Offline Manzikert

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 10:19:10 AM »
The article is talking as if there is a current or recent 200 won coin available (I know that aluminium coins 5 up to 100 won were issued dated 2005 for the second won), and that is what I'm asking about, not referring to older coins.

It may be that people are using the notes (for the third won, introduced November-December 2009, not 2008) for everyday transactions and keeping pocketfuls of old 100 won (and the probably mythical 200 won) coins for playing the games described, but as far as I know the only 200 won coin ever issued in the North was a silver commemorative in 1991.

I suspect that the article is just a case of slipshod journalism or propaganda (don't forget that 'Daily NK' is a South Korean publication).

Alan

Offline Pabitra

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 10:25:57 AM »
It may be that people are using the notes (for the third won, introduced November-December 2009, not 2008) for everyday transactions and keeping pocketfuls of old 100 won (and the probably mythical 200 won) coins for playing the games described, but as far as I know the only 200 won coin ever issued in the North was a silver commemorative in 1991.

According to SCWC, base metal 200 Won coins were issued in 2007, before new Won came.

Offline Manzikert

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 01:52:19 PM »
Yes, but these are brass 'commemoratives', not circulation coins in aluminium, which would be essential if the game described in the article were to function. I suspect the average North Korean would never see one of these. ;D

Alan

Offline Pabitra

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Re: North Korea: Coins Bringing Bad Luck
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 03:21:30 PM »
No, my reply was in response to your statement that no 200 Won coin has been issued since 1991. There have been silver coins of 200 Won in 21st century from
North Korea but with base metal coins, one never knows when they get minted large numbers and become general circulation coins.
Such incidents have been noticed in Tanzania, Uganda, Serbia etc.