How North Korea Makes Money

How North Korea Makes Money

How does a bitterly impoverished, famine-ravaged country with little in the way of discernible industry afford a nuclear weapons program? How do its elites live in the lap of luxury despite ruthless international sanctions? The short answer is weaponized nerds


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  1. Still kinda fucked up that in 2021 there's a country what does all kinds of random things and nobody care, but then people complain human rights in other places and shit 😀

  2. north korea if your reading this, just know that a lot of us are with you! we hate the evil banks that control our countries! fuck the federal reserve! we know who killed president mckinnley, and why!

  3. For a country that has no Internet or people involved in it, this video just indirectly alleged that NK has the best hackers in the world, hacking all kinds of institutions and software. There is no way I can believe this.

  4. The US Secret Service occasionally claims that North Korean–manufactured counterfeit $100 bills, also known as “supernotes,” are the most sophisticated fake money in the world. This is not surprising, considering the lengths North Korea went to in manufacturing them, using machinery from Japan, paper from Hong Kong, and ink from France. North Korean counterfeit money is so good that the US government introduced a new $100 bill in 2013, with new security features specifically designed to counter North Korean counterfeiting.And those new features are very much needed. Supernotes are printed on the same type of cotton-and-linen paper as the US banknotes, using the same type of Swiss-manufactured printing press, and using a very similar type of ink. Originally, the North Koreans collected $1 banknotes to bleach and reprint, but they later learned how to manufacture the paper from scratch.

  5. If North Korea has anything in abundance, it’s people. And how can this commodity be monetized? By sending them overseas to work and send their earnings back to North Korea, holding their families hostage to ensure compliance. Over 50,000 North Korean laborers toil overseas for the regime, sending back remittances totaling nearly $2 billion a year. The laborers work in terrible conditions for long hours and are lucky to see even 10 percent of their paycheck.North Korean laborers can be found in more than 40 different countries in the Middle East, Africa, and even Europe—but mostly in China and Russia, with 20,000 and 19,000 workers, respectively. Most are employed in industries requiring hard physical labor, like construction. And with the United Nations cracking down on other North Korean cash flows, the country has been increasing the number of laborers sent overseas to make up for the shortfall in cash it earns from other activities.

  6. North Korea started counterfeiting cigarettes in the 1990s, but the operations seem to have expanded substantially in the 2000s, prompting a response when both China and Taiwan seized fake packaging and other materials destined for North Korea. Even with more seizures, North Korean–made counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes have made their way to the United States and have become an entrenched problem. Cigarettes are easier to counterfeit and sell compared to other illicit goods, because they are a lower priority for law enforcement.Counterfeiting cigarettes might not seem like something that could earn North Korea a lot of money, but a single shipping container of cigarettes can be worth more than $3 million. It has been estimated that after production and distribution costs, North Korea could be raking in as much as $160 million a year in profit from counterfeit cigarettes. As many of the cigarette factories in North Korea are run by the North Korean military, the foreign cash earned goes straight back to the militarization of North Korea.

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