Feature

Unfairly accused of forging dollars.

The week's news at a glance.

North Korea

Klaus W. Bender
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

The U.S. might owe North Korea an apology, said Klaus W. Bender in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. America has openly accused the communist totalitarian country of counterfeiting U.S. banknotes. Yet an investigation by Interpol, with the cooperation of numerous central banks and currency printers, has found signs that “the Americans themselves could be behind the fraud.” Turns out the Americans blame the counterfeiting on whichever country they happen to be angry at. In 1989, when the first near-perfect fake $100 bill surfaced in the Philippines, suspicions centered on some of Iran’s mullahs. Later, Syria was accused, as was Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Sources in the Interpol investigation told us that any of those candidates is more likely than North Korea, which is so poor that it cannot even produce decent versions of its own currency, the won, much less the kind of “supernotes” that can fool even currency experts. Those sources allege that “the CIA prints the fake notes in a secret facility” to fund its covert operations. The U.S counters that it has “conclusive proof” of North Korean guilt, which it can’t reveal “for security reasons.” Wasn’t that “the same argument it used about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction?”

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