Where? North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is the reclusive neighbour of South Korea. It is one of the most isolated countries in the world. Its people cannot travel and capital Pyongyang has limited trade with other countries. Food shortages since the mid-1990s have left many people badly malnourished. Many are said to face starvation. What? At the end of last month, the North Korean government revalued its currency. New paper notes replaced the old ones at the rate of 100 to one. People only had one week to change all their cash, and there were restrictions on the total amount that could be exchanged. Protests are said to have broken out in market palces. Who? Mothers are the backbone of marketplaces where they make what they can to support their children. They have lost 99 per cent of their savings and are furious. When? The shock revaluation of the North Korean won happened on November 30. Shops and restaurants were closed. People panicked as they tried to change the old notes into money that could be used. Why? No one is completely sure why the North Korean government suddenly revalued its currency. But most analysts think it was to clamp down on an emerging free-market system. How? When a revaluation happens the government issues new notes. People have to trade their old currency for new notes. They had to use 100 old notes to buy one new one. There was a limit on how much they could change. Good Friends, an aid group in Seoul, said cases of heart attacks and suspected suicides were reported because of lost savings. A radio broadcaster in Seoul reported that two money-changers were executed last Friday in Pyongsong, near Pyongyang, for illegally exchanging currency.