The country says it’s making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.
The announcements came days before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang, the North’s capital.
The North’s decisions were made in a meeting of the ruling party’s full Central Committee, which had convened to discuss a “new stage” of policies. The declaration of such a bold strategic shift before North Korean elites at a major convention makes it harder for Kim’s government to reverse course, especially when the shift is being reported by the official state news agency.
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