NIS: Kim Jong-un Executes Money Broker for Exchange Rate Fluctuation
South Korea's intelligence agency says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is responding "irrationally" to economic difficulties the regime is facing, such as rising inflation and a decline in industrial activity.
The North executed a heavyweight figure in Pyongyang's currency market last month due to the sudden exchange rate fluctuation, according to a report submitted by ruling and opposition party lawmakers to parliament on Friday citing the National Intelligence Service(NIS).
Another key official was also reportedly executed in August for violating a ban on imports amid toughened quarantine control due to the coronavirus pandemic. North Korea has even suspended fishing and salt production out of fear that sea water may be contaminated by COVID-19.
The NIS told lawmakers that economic difficulties in the North are worsening due to protracted border blockade measures.
The regime's trade volume with China has plunged to a quarter of last year's level during the first ten months of this year, while grocery prices have jumped four fold as Chinese goods were not coming into the country.
Main opposition People Power Party lawmaker Ha Tae-keung said North Korea was dealing with a triple distress of sanctions, COVID-19 and flood damage.
[Photo : YONHAP News]