North Korean leader appears to follow Chinese example

If it seems like there is a stirring in North Korea, it may just be so.  When Kim Jong-un brought his so-called wife Ri Sol-ju out for the world to see this summer it set a precedent for what he wants his North Korea to be. “The whiff of agrarian reform has hung over North Korea since early summer when DailyNK, a Seoul-based defectors’ website, reported a plan to allow farmers to sell more of their harvest at market prices rather than lower, state-set ones,” The Economist wrote last week in their print edition. The article continued, “This week it grew stronger after two Western news agencies reported that farmers would be free to decide what to do with a larger share of their grain surplus, after handing over a quota to the state. Reuters quoted a trusted source saying North Korea was trying to follow China, where an economic transformation started with such liberalisation in the late 1970s, under the slogan ‘reform and opening up’. That phrase would never be used in North Korea, the source added, because in Korean it sounds like the words ‘dog fart’… …Dog farts or not, he adds, North Korea’s agricultural sector is much smaller than China’s, so it should not expect the same economic impact, even if it follows the same revolutionary path.” Click here to check out a blog we wrote last spring, North Korea Making Concessions for Food Aid. Click here to read the full The Economist article. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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