Pyongyang holds finance, banking conference after 25 years

Pyongyang, Dec 14 (IANS) North Korea held a conference of its financial and banking officials for the first time since 1990, hinting at leader Kim Jong-un’s plans to reform the state-controlled economy, the media reported on Monday.

The conference on Sunday “reviewed successes and experience gained by those in the field of finance and banking”, state-owned KCNA agency said.

“To improve financial and banking work is an inevitable demand for hastening the building of a thriving nation,” it added, stressing the need for “reliable financial resources” and ensuring fluidity in the circulation of money.

The conference is the third one by North Korea and the first since December 1990, when it was held under the rule of Kim Il-sung (the current leader’s grandfather and founder of the country), EFE news reported.

Though there has been no news of concrete changes in North Korea’s rigid financial system, the unexpected conference according to experts, could signal forthcoming reforms.

In May next year, North Korea will celebrate the first general meeting of the Workers’ Party in 36 years, during which important economic reforms could be announced, according to analysts.

Although North Korea is still recovering from the severe crisis in the 1990s, construction of infrastructure and economic activities picked up since Kim Jong-un assumed power in 2011.

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