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Kim Jong Un’s Money Running Out

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SEOUL — Kentaro Nakajima reports: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s secret fund has almost run out of money because the country has repeatedly carried out nuclear tests and test-launched missiles, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

The broadcaster, which is affiliated with the U.S. government, on Thursday quoted a Chinese source with ties to a high-ranking North Korean official as saying that Pyongyang’s decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February was to support the country’s economy, which is in critical condition.

According to the RFA, Kim Jong Un received the secret fund from his father, the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Its current financial situation is the result of Kim Jong Un using money from the fund to repeatedly conduct ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests.

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It is also due to Kim’s wasteful spending on his favorite projects, including construction of the Masikryong ski resort, which was completed in late 2013 in Kangwon-do Province in the southeastern part of the country, and construction of high-rise condominiums on Ryomyong Street, which started in April 2016.

The source heard an executive official of North Korea’s Office No. 39 express concern that the money in the secret fund may run out. Office No. 39 manages the secret fund for North Korean leaders.

According to the source, Office No. 39 conducts illegal activities such as counterfeiting currencies, producing narcotics and international insurance fraud. Through such activities, it has provided $500 million to $1 billion (about ¥54.2 billion to ¥108.5 billion) annually for the secret fund.

However, North Korea’s means of obtaining foreign currencies have been limited since the U.N. Security Council … (read more)

via The Japan News

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