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North Korea planning economic reform, source says

The North Korean military must now give control of the country's economy to a special bureau, the source says.

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This photo taken on April 13, 2012 shows North Korean military chief Ri Yong-Ho (L) and North Korean leader Kin Jong-Un (R) at a ceremony in Pyongyang. North Korea's army chief Ri Yong-Ho has been relieved of all his posts due to illness, state media said on July 16, 2012, in a surprise development that removes one of new leader Kim Jong-Un's inner circle. (Ed Jones /AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea is getting ready to introduce economic and agricultural reforms, a source described as having ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing has told Reuters.

The military will now have to relinquish control of the country's feeble economy to a new special bureau, according to the source. Kim Jong Un is also said to have created an "economic reform group," the source told Reuters, adding that North Korea will seek lessons from China's example.

The news comes after a week of shakeups in the North Korean leadership that saw the dismissal of the military chief and the naming of leader Kim Jong Un as the marshal of the nation.

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The latest shift could spell significant change for the reclusive country, according to The Telegraph, though previous attempts to move closer to a market driven economy have not taken off, even proving disastrous for average citizens. It was unclear whether the Reuters source was speaking of a policy different from the so-called 6-28 policy reported earlier this month, however, which showed few signs of true reform.

John McCreary, formerly a senior intelligence analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff who now tracks national security threats, told NPR that the current rate of change in North Korea suggests a crisis behind the scenes. "The pace of events and the outcome means there was insubordination — military insubordination," he said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120720/north-korea-planning-economic-reform