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N. Korea shifts more responsibility to factories, farmers

In this Feb. 11, 2015 photo, Prof. Ri Ki Song, of the Economic Science Section at Pyongyang’s powerful Academy of Social Science, speaks about his country's latest economic policies during an interview in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea is trying to invigorate its hidebound economy by offering managers and farmers more control and possibly more personal rewards in the country’s biggest domestic policy experiment since leader Kim Jong Un assumed power with vows to improve the impoverished nation’s standard of living. The measures give managers the power to set salaries and hire and fire employees, and give farmers more of a stake in out-producing quotas. Some outside observers say they’re a far cry from the kind of change the North really needs, but they agree with North Korean economists who say it is starting to pay off in higher wages and increased yields. The focus is on management, distribution and farming, economist Ri said during the interview. Ri said the goal is to prod North Korean managers and farmers to “do business creatively, on their own initiative.” (AP Photo/APTN)

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