Exchanging North Korean Won

We’ve written a lot about the currency of North Korea, AKA the Korean Won – Code KPW, as well as how currencies work in socialist countries.

To read specifically about the Korean Won click here, or the Currencies of Socialism give this article a crack.

In the interests of this article though we are simply going to discuss different currencies and how much they will buy you in North Korean Won (and visa-versa). Of course, though this is North Korea, so we will have to give you two sets of exchange rates, official, and unofficial. Confused yet?

Official exchange rates

In Socialist countries governments have an official exchange rate. The official fixed exchange rate was traditionally used for trade with other socialist countries, as well as for fixing in-country prices for citizens. This is why what North Koreans pay for the Pyongyang Metro for example seems so cheap. We will get onto hard currency conversion later.

USD to Korean Won

The previous official exchange rate between the US Dollar and the North Korean Won (KPW) was $1 = 215 Won. It has been stated that this exchange rate was fixed to signify the birthday of General Kim Jong-Il! Nowadays the modern exchange rate tends to be set at $1 = KPW 900

North Korean Won to Euro

The official exchange rate between the North Korean Won and the Euro is Euro 1 = 1008 North Korean Won

North Korean Won to Roubles

One North Korean Won will only get you .07 Roubles, which I think works out as 7 kopecks…..

And lastly what is the exchange rate between Filipino Peso and North Korean Won?

1 peso (PHP) will get you you 18 Korean Won (KPW).

Ok, so now the arbitrary official exchange rates are out of the way, I will try and do it the unofficial way. Unofficial Korean Won exchange rates are what you might call the “street rate” although these can be exchanged semi-officially a places such as Golden Triangle Bank and Kwanbok Department Store.

The latest exchange rate I can find for the unofficial rate is RMB 1 (Chinese money) = 7000 KPW

This gives us the following exchange rates;

$1 = KPW 49000

Rouble 1 = KPW 700

PHP 1 = KPW 980

So, that is the skinny on exchanging money officially and unofficially in the DPRK. Obviously we have missed out a number of other currencies, but you can use our crude exchanges to work out your own personal North Korean Won conversion.

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