One of my first duties on behalf of the embassy was to open a bank account to pay for overheads and everyday expenses. So off I went to the Central Bank, the only bank there was. It was a modest building in the centre of the city, consisting mainly of a small bank hall with a high, U-shaped marble counter. With the help of the interpreter, I presented the letter of credit, made out in Swiss francs, that the Swedish Foreign Ministry had sent with me. This was passed from the hands of one bank officer to the other, held under a lamp, up against the light and thoroughly examined from both back and front. In the end it became clear that I would not be able to get any money, or open an account. Evidently, no-one had ever seen such a document before. Fortunately, I had some travellers’ cheques for my personal expenses and these were accepted. It was not until several weeks later that the letter of credit was accepted. Thus, the book-keeping of the Royal Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang started with a temporary loan from me.