$140,000 in N. Korean ‘Supernotes’ Found in Namdaemun

So South Korea really isn’t sure North Korea is counterfeiting our currency? Have a look at this:

The South Korean government concealed the fact that U.S. investigators told it US$140,000 in counterfeit dollars found in Seoul’s Namdaemun market last April was made in North Korea, it emerged Sunday. Police at the time arrested three people who tried to exchange 1,400 so-called supernotes at a local money changer. They allegedly bought the supernotes from a broker in Shenyang, China.

How do we know the notes were made in the North? The South Koreans asked the Secret Service who made them, and the Americans then did a forensic comparison between them and known North Korean exemplars. As to the charge of concealing, however, I’m missing something. They presumably weren’t hiding much if the South Korean police made inquiries with U.S. law enforcement authorities.

U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Alexander Vershbow recently alluded to an incident “where a large amount of counterfeit dollars was confiscated in Korea,” and police here commented they asked for investigative cooperation from Chinese authorities to discover the source of the fakes but had yet to receive an answer.

Of course, one presumes that at some point, the South Korean government knew about the find and chose to ignore the evidence anyway. It’s no cause for encouragement about South Korea’s reliability as a participant in diplomacy with the North.