North Korean supernotes: Nuclear arms financed by counterfeit currency

Michael Yatskievych, University of Texas at El Paso


The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate whether DPRK is producing high quality counterfeit US currency, supernotes, and has determined to what extent supernotes are financing North Korea's emerging nuclear arms program. The application of Analysis of Competing Hypotheses, ACH, satisfied this study's purpose by meeting the following objectives: the development of multiple hypotheses in an attempt to explain a supernote-nuclear arms program link, assessing evidence from assorted sources, providing a diagnostic weighing hypotheses and evidence, and refining the evidence for inconsistencies and sensitivity. The thesis demonstrated, with the use of ACH, that supernotes are a powerful catalyst in fulfilling DPRK's nuclear objectives. Evaluation on the manufacturing of supernotes revealed that as greater volumes of supernotes are manufactured the occurrence of illicit activities also increase, further compromising international safety.

Subject Area

Asian Studies|Political science|Military studies

Recommended Citation

Yatskievych, Michael, "North Korean supernotes: Nuclear arms financed by counterfeit currency" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1557808.