How North Korea perfected counterfeiting $100 bills

Today's US $100 bills have so many anti-counterfeiting features that it's doubtful that they are being accurately counterfeited on a large scale. But in decades past, North Korea was so good at printing fake $100 dollar bills that they looked better than the real thing.

But sometime in the late 1980s North Korea's room 39 the clandestine office that maintains the country's slush fund through meth production insurance scams and yes counterfeiting set out to produce perfect $100 bills in a large enough volume that the operation would be profitable. By 1990. Kim Il-sung had sourced an identical intaglio printing press from Japan, cloth paper with the same iconic red and blue fibers from Hong Kong, magnetic color-shifting ink from France, and a terrified workforce from his very own home country… The bills that Room 39 produced became known as superdollars because there are only discernible flaws, if any, were that they were actually too perfect. For example, this line on the base of this lamppost on the back of the $100 bill is a little faded on the real deal, whereas Kim took the artistic liberty of filling it back in in one version of the superdolla r. On another version, the clock hands on Independence Hall stay inside the inner circle, whereas on the real bill they poke out just a smitch.