N.Ko­rea FM in Viet­nam to study im­ple­men­ta­tion of eco­nomic re­forms

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD - AFP

North Ko­rea’s for­eign min­is­ter kicked off an of­fi­cial visit to Viet­nam Fri­day as the na­tion seeks to learn lessons from the one-party state’s post-war eco­nomic re­form that has trans­formed the na­tion into one of Asia’s fastest grow­ing economies.

Ri Yong-ho is ex­pected to meet with lead­ers in Hanoi and visit a hi-tech zone and speak to agri­cul­tural ex­perts, ac­cord­ing to state me­dia and diplo­matic sources.

North Ko­rea, with an econ­omy long crip­pled by widerang­ing sanc­tions is seek­ing to learn from Viet­nam’s “doi moi” eco­nomic re­forms in­tro­duced in the 1980s, ac­cord­ing to Seoul’s of­fi­cial Yon­hap News Agency.

Viet­nam’s econ­omy has flour­ished as it has em­braced mar­ket re­forms, opened its doors to for­eign in­vest­ment and free trade deals, with GDP growth hit­ting 5 per­cent or higher for the past decade.

“North Ko­rea is us­ing this pe­riod of not test­ing (its nu­clear weapons) to re­cover its ex­ter­nal re­la­tions to ap­pear as a re­spectable mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” Carl Thayer, emer­i­tus pol­i­tics pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales in Can­berra, told AFP.

Ri has visited Iran, Rus­sia, China, Turk­menistan and Azer­bai­jan this year.

It is an ap­proach en­cour­aged by US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo who went on a trip to Viet­nam in July.

“Your coun­try can repli­cate this path. It’s yours if you’ll seize the mo­ment. The mir­a­cle could be yours; it can be your mir­a­cle in North Ko­rea as well,” he said in com­ments aimed at Kim Jong-un.

Viet­nam and North Ko­rea es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions in 1950.

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