Abstract

Abstract:

In my article, I examine the use of foreign currency in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) border economy since the 1980s. I focus not on the US dollar so beloved of elites in Pyongyang but on the steady uptake of Chinese renminbi by nonelites, a phenomenon that emerged first from the economy of the border region that the DPRK shares with China. Relying on testimony from structured interviews conducted in 2014 with former DPRK citizens now based in the Republic of Korea, I position the expansion of foreign currency usage within the history of contemporary DPRK marketization, specifically linking that expansion to economic shocks felt in 1992, 2002, and 2009. I conclude by discussing the threats and opportunities presented by the rising tide of foreign currency possession and use.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2288-2871
Print ISSN
0258-9184
Pages
pp. 415-434
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-22
Open Access
No
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