New North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has urged officials of the Workers' Party of Korea to debate economic reforms, including the introduction of capitalist methods -- hitherto one of the greatest taboos in the reclusive state -- the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
The development was revealed in a record of Kim's statements dated Jan. 28, which was recently obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun. North Korea operates a state-controlled economy, but the poor performance of policies to date has created a serious and long-lasting economic crisis. Kim's statements raise the possibility that he could initiate major economic reforms in the near future as the country seeks clues to rise from the crisis.
Products such as Coca Cola and jeans are banned from North Korea as "symbols of capitalism." It is said that gays were executed for "the crime of being tainted with capitalist ideology," and karaoke establishments, except for those catering to foreigners, were shut down for being "capitalist." In October last year, the state-run Korean Central News Agency declared in a report on anti-disparity protests across the world that "capitalism has no future." Read More