September 21, 2023

North Korea will continue “Kaesong model,” not pursue wider reform: Thae Yong-ho

Former high-ranking diplomat says Kim Jong Un will use tourism sector to develop investor trust

Pyongyang has an “elaborate plan” to establish 14 special economic zones (SEZs) and will open up its tourism market as a first step to attract investment, former high-ranking North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho said on Monday.

Thae, who has worked at the National Intelligence Service (NIS)-affiliated Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS), since his defection in 2016, also said the DPRK would not pursue China or Vietnam-style broad-stroke economic reforms.