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NKorea Bullish on Economy Despite Currency Mess

Friday, 04 December 2009 10:26 AM

SEOUL — North Korea Friday hailed efforts to build a strong socialist economy but kept silent about its shock currency revaluation which has reportedly sparked fury and frustration.

"Today the Korean people, showing their mental power of self-regeneration and fighting against hardships, are making strenuous efforts to build a strong, prosperous and powerful socialist nation," the official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.

It painted a rosy picture of the economy's future, underlining the public's supposed unity and self-reliance.

Analysts say Monday's revaluation appears aimed at clamping down on a fledgling free market economy in an attempt to tighten the communist regime's grip.

Observers and media reports say Pyongyang has tightened security against possible agitation, with extra troops and security agents on the streets, during the changeover period to a new currency which ends Sunday.

People must exchange banknotes at the rate of 100 old won for one new won but the total they can change is severely restricted.

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Friday, 04 December 2009 10:26 AM
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