North Korea Lays Goose-Egg, No Farm Policy Shift Unveiled
North Korea’s parliament – the Supreme People’s Assembly – closed its session on Tuesday without passing a much-anticipated agricultural reform measure, according to the Yonhap news agency of South Korea.
On Monday, reports circulated that Pyongyang was planning to allow farmers to keep more of their crops in order to encourage increased food production and reduce escalating prices in a country scarred by chronic food shortages and starvation. Such a step would have marked a new shift in North Korean affairs under new leader Kim Jong un – a move away from the rigid state control espoused by his father, Kim Il Jong. …
…Sung-Yoon Lee, Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, said that any alleged changes in North Korea’s agricultural policy would not represent “significant signals of meaningful policy shift, but a reflection of the new regime's push to shape public opinion in its favor.”
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