Central Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The Central Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is North Korea‘s central bank. Established on December 6, 1947, it issues the North Korean wŏn. The Bank is subordinated to the Cabinet of North Korea. Since 2023, the president of the bank has been Paek Min Gwang.


On February 15, 1946, a central bank of North Korea was announced, which was to be under the control of the Soviet military. However, the bank failed to accomplish its objectives, being unable to meet its costs of operation, and the 100 million wŏn capitalisation was ineffective. The North Korean Interim People’s Committee did not look upon the bank favorably, and chose instead to work through the Farmers’ Bank, which also existed at the time. By late 1946, banking functions were consolidated into two main institutions, the Central Bank and Farmer’s Bank. In June 1947, around 1,000 million wŏn was concentrated in the Central Bank, allowing it to extend credits totalling 900 million wŏn for economic rehabilitation. The consolidation reflected a return to the original objectives of the People’s Committee, which wanted closer control over the economy; any banking people opposed to the changes within the system were removed from their posts. On December 6, 1947, a comprehensive program of currency reform was announced.

In 1959, the Central and Farmers’ banks were merged to form the Central Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Foreign Trade Bank was established to handle the Central Bank’s international business


The Central Bank has over 220 branches. It operates the Chŏnsŏng electronic cash card.


NameTook officeLeft officeNotes
Pyon Song-u?-19761988
Chong Song-taek19882000Jong Song-thaek, born 1930
Kim Wan-su20002009
Ri Kwang-gon20092010–?
Paek Ryong-chon20112014
Kim Chon-gyun20142021
Chae Song-hak20212023
Paek Min Gwang2023Incumbent

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