N. Korea executes former top official over currency reform

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 18, 2010 10:53

 
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North Korea executed a former senior official last week as punishment for the country's botched currency reform, a news report said Thursday.

In November, North Korea redenominated its currency as part of efforts to lower inflation and reassert control over the country's nascent market economy. However, the measure reportedly worsened the country's food situation by forcing the closure of markets and sparked anger among many North Koreans left with piles of worthless bills.

Pak Nam Gi, the ruling Workers' Party finance and planning department chief who spearheaded the currency reform, was executed by a firing squad in Pyongyang last week, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing unidentified sources.

Pak was accused of ruining the nation's economy in a blunder that also damaged public opinion and had a negative impact on leader Kim Jong Il's plan to hand power over to his youngest son, Yonhap said.

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