Now What? Part 3: Dave, What Are You Doing?

Update: The BOC account played a role in the 2000 summit scandal, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

What skill it must take to step in it this hard:

SEOUL, July 24 (Yonhap) — North Korea is suspected of having printed fake Chinese currency, which prompted the Bank of China (BOC) to freeze all of its North Korean accounts in an apparent retaliation, a South Korean legislator asserted on Monday.

Quoting a number of unidentified U.S. officials, Rep. Park Jin of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) said the freezing of North Korean accounts at the BOC is tantamount to virtual imposition of sanctions by Beijing on the North.

“I understand the North is even more frustrated because this means China is in fact imposing sanctions on North Korea,” the opposition lawmaker told Yonhap News Agency in a telephone interview.

No wonder Kim Jong Il wants to talk. Incidentally, I don’t believe Kim Jong Il really did this. Not even he is that brazen, nor is the yuan worth counterfeiting. I suspect this is China’s way of saving face after some pointed threats from the U.S. Treasury Department. Just my own theory, unsupported by any hard facts, but read this before you dismiss it.

Next, watch for more news on the Austrian and Swiss accounts. I’m reminded of the scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where “Dave” disconnects Hal’s circuits, one at a time. My guess is that the North Koreans are coming back to the talks to ask, “Dave, what are you doing?”

5 Comments

  1. Not surprised at all. In fact I bet dear MURDERER midget Kim also printed counterfeit WONS in large denominations too but BOK is looking the other way. Hell this is easy way to support sugar daddy, right? Knowingly let him print counterfeit WONS and let BOK replace with legit WONS.

    I’ve came across counterfeit 100RMB (about $12.5) notes in SZ area couple of times. In fact most merchants in China will not accept 500RMB notes (even KTV “room salon” girls). Most hotel will have hotel guest “witness” the 100RMB notes go thru moeny check machine when exchanging money (and write down serial number of USD bills being exchanged).

    But this is not foolproof… I was turned down for fake 100RMB note by taxi driver in Shenzhen in 2002. Went to complain to hotel (Holiday Inn Donghua Shenzhen) and they claimed it’s not possible. The area surrounding the hotel called Nanshan is almost little Korea town since 2004 with couple of “room salons” and one hears plenty of Korean spoken at lobby and hotel’s newly added Korean restaurant. There were hardly any Korean nationals in Nanshan area before 2003.




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  2. Duke: But this is not foolproof… I was turned down for fake 100RMB note by taxi driver in Shenzhen in 2002.

    How do you tell if 100 yuan notes are real?




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  3. J: Incidentally, I don’t believe Kim Jong Il really did this. Not even he is that brazen, nor is the yuan worth counterfeiting.

    I’ll have to disagree. The yuan is a hard currency that is getting stronger all the time, because of China’s huge trade surpluses, combined with pressure from the governments of its export markets.

    It is also likely to be easier for North Korean operatives to pass fake yuan in China. China is a lot closer to North Korea. North Koreans can enter China pretty much at will with either fake papers, or through the border (tens of thousands of North Korean refugees certainly have, many without even paying off North Korean border guards). The average North Korean is more likely to speak Chinese than he is to speak English. Plus, every Chinese province speaks its native language/dialect, so there is no native Mandarin accent. Meaning, of course, that a North Korean Mandarin accent would arouse no suspicion – i.e. North Koreans can pass for Chinese in China, based on both physical features and accent. All they have to say is that they’re from some faraway province. Since all of China’s provincial languages/dialects are mutually unintelligible anyway, no one could tell the North Koreans were foreign even if they were heard speaking Korean, since most people don’t know what Korean sounds like. The Chinese national ID card is a real piece of crap that makes the fake documents you can get near Times Square in NYC look like veritable works of art. Bottom line, I think it would be way easier to launder counterfeit yuan than counterfeit dollars. China is mostly a cash economy, so large sums of cash don’t arouse suspicion.




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  4. “How do you tell if 100 yuan notes are real? ”

    Zhang Fei, I don’t know. I think the counterfeit 100 reminbi note’s paper felt stiff. I got turned it down at a restaurant. Taxi drivers turn the light on to check whether it’s legit 100 RMB notes at night time and I noticed they tug and pull it then look at it closely.




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