PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A senior government economist has told The Associated Press that North Korea is exploring a grand plan to become a regional transportation hub, inspired in part by the successes of Singapore and Switzerland.
The economist said Pyongyang would also consider joining world financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund. But that could only happen if current member states abandon "hostile" policies toward the North.
Ri Ki Song, a senior researcher with the Economic Institute of the North's Academy of Social Sciences, spoke with The Associated Press in Pyongyang last week. He said that although sanctions intended to get his country to abandon its nuclear and missile programs have intensified, the country's economy is growing steadily.
He said the growth shows some sectors are becoming more efficient and self-reliant.