DPRK Developing Master Economic Plan with German Advice
German media reported on 4 January (Friday) that the DPRK is formulating a “master plan” to develop its economy and attract foreign investment with advice from German economists and attorneys. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine, the DPRK is working on legislation to increase foreign investment. One of the German economists involved in the consultations told the newspaper that “There is a master plan. They want the opening [to occur] later this year.” While the country continues to develop and plans to utilize Chinese-type Special Economic Zones in Raso’n and Hwanggu’mp’yo’ng/Wihwa Islands, it also wants to lure foreign investment in underdeveloped mineral resources from countries other than China. The DPRK is studying the “Vietnamese blueprint whereby selected enterprises for investment are picked out,” according to one of the German experts involved.
Despite a general consensus within the DPRK’s central leadership, Korean People’s Army [KPA] units which control mines and export mineral resources to China are reluctant to surrender their lucrative mineral resources which could obstruct any potential legal changes or policy modifications. Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that one of the leading DPRK elites promoting DPRK-German contacts and “seeking to attract expertise” is the head of Joint Venture and Investment Commission [JVIC]. Current JVIC Chairman Ri Kwang Kun is fluent in German, studied there in the 1970s and held a series of foreign trade positions at the DPRK Embassy in Berlin in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kim Jong Il visits Wo’nsan University of Agriculture (L) in April 2009, an event which Kim Jong Un attended as hereditary successor. During this visit Kim Jong Un posed for a commemorative photo (R) with his two siblings and KWP officials (Photos: KCNA, KCTV-Yonhap)