North Korea's government revalued the country's currency but restricted severely the amount of old bills that can be changed for the new ones, wiping out personal savings, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The move sparked panic and anger, as much of the old North Korean won has become worthless, the paper reported, citing news agency reports from South Korea and China and groups with contacts in North Korea.
In the revaluation, which took place at the weekend, 1,000-won notes are replaced by 10-won notes but the amount of old currency that can be exchanged is drastically limited, news reports said.
That limit was first set Monday at 100,000 won, which at current black-market rates amounts to $40, according to two Web-based groups with sources in the North.
After widespread protests, the limit was raised to 150,000 won in cash and 300,000 won in bank savings, other reports said.