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North Korea's Kim Jong Un issues economy-first policy framework: report

North Korean leader issues a major policy directive focused on the economy.

Kim Jong Un's wife, Ri Sol JuEnlarge
Kim Jong Un stands with his wife, Ri Sol Ju. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korean media today published an extensive new policy framework from leader Kim Jong Un that prioritizes the economy, according to The New York Times

The move comes a day after Kim told China that he was intent on "improving livelihoods" in the poverty-stricken nation, reported ABC News

Kim's directive called on the nation to help build a "prosperous country," remarks that may signal a new openness to the economic reforms long resisted by Kim's father, who died in December. 

And in a move that may herald a more engaged foreign policy, the country's twenty-something leader also recently sent his head of parliament to Vietnam and Laos, Reuters cited North Korea's KCNA news agency as reporting.

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Kim's policy announcement comes the morning after his first diplomatic debut, having hosted dinner in Pyongyang for top Chinese political officials on Thursday, ABC News cited state press as saying.

North Korea, saddled with heavy international sanctions due to its controversial nuclear program, relies heavily on China for economic support. 

"Developing the economy and improving livelihoods, so that the Korean people lead happy and civilized lives, is the goal the Korean Workers' Party is struggling towards," Kim told Chinese officials, according to a report today by Xinhua news agency cited by Reuters

The communist country also recently asked the United Nations for humanitarian aid to help recovery efforts after heavy floods hit the nation, killing over 100 people, said NYT

North Korean press said the today's statement came from a speech Kim gave to the ruling Workers’ Party on July 26, reported NYT.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120803/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-issues-economy-first-policy-frame