North Korea to increase its minting capacity

Started by eurocoin, September 17, 2020, 08:13:32 PM

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The North Korean government will this year increase its minting capacity. The country currently has a mint and an auxiliary mint. The auxiliary mint was usually occupied with the production of buttons for military uniforms and metallic parts of epaulettes. Only if the minting capacity of their mint was inadequate or there were long term power outages, the auxiliary mint would produce coins. By upgrading the auxiliary mint, the North Korean government hopes to improve the coinage system. The minting tasks of the axiliary mint will gradually be increased.

The mints in North Korea mainly produce North Korean collectors coins although occasionally also collectors coins of other countries are being produced there. North Korean collectors coins are mainly being sold in China, Hong Kong and North Korea itself.


In a communist system, the economic planners set the inflation rate. If it is set too low, which is usually the case, the unresolved inflation translates into empty shelves and queues in front of shops, i.e. there is chaotic rationing by extra time necessary to purchase. Some of the extra time is cheap, when workers can stay away from their job without consequences or in the case of healthy retirees, whose income is independent from how they spend their time.

The regime loses by absenteeism and by disgruntled buyers. It therefore has a vested interest to use receding inflation to the benefit of (potential) consumers and profit from the increase in legitimacy. Such a period occurs right now. Because of COVID-19, consumption and growth have weakened significantly worldwide. Lesser demand lowers pressure on prices and thereby lowers global inflation. It is an excellent reason to strike more coins: it enhances domestic trade and gives consumers the feeling that normalcy is returning. This is all basic economic theory applied to a communist dictatorship.

What makes the story amusing is the North Korea, known as the hermit kingdom, has largely isolated itself from the world and claims not to have COVID-19 patients, an extreme echo of the claims of Putin's Russia. If these claims were true, North Korea would not have lower inflation and it would not need higher minting capacity.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.