Oh, North Korea and Breaking Through and Failing Again

What in the hell is North Korea doing?

North Korea said Monday it would issue new won currency this week that would in effect lop two zeros off the old — requiring 1,000-won bills, for example, to be exchanged for 10-won notes with, theoretically, the same buying power. It said it would limit the amount of old currency it would accept in exchange, to the equivalent of about $40 worth at unofficial exchange rates.


[Open Radio for North Korea] also reported that the exchange restrictions did not apply to Chinese people inside North Korea and, as a result, some North Koreans were trying to exchange old money with Chinese.

Meanwhile, college students were told they could exchange only the equivalent of about $9 in old money, reported Good Friends, a Buddhist charity group based in Seoul and Washington with a network of contacts in North Korea.

It also reported instances of wealthy people from cities rushing to rural areas on Monday in hopes of buying commodities with the old currency before people in those areas heard about the exchange process.

So the communist country and its Dear Leader takes care of the citizens by limiting their savings to $9 or $40 unless they’re Chinese, in which case they can have as much money as they want? Nice way to treat your pure Korean blood.

A few weeks ago I wrote that my limit in reading Pippi (or anything else) in Korean was about 20 minutes.

Well, Sunday night I broke through. I finished the circus chapter and read the entire burglar chapter in 삐삐. It took me 45 minutes. And I understood damn near everything in the burglar chapter. I was enjoying myself and didn’t want to stop reading.

Now I’m on the coffee party chapter and back to feeling more confused.