South Korea President Moon Jae-in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the two take a walk along a symbolic bridge in Panmunjeom. [Photo by Kim Jae-hoon]
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shared his envisioning of Vietnam-style opening and transformation for the world’s most reclusive state during last week’s tete-a-tete with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a ranking government official said Thursday on condition of anonymity.
During their 40-minute private time last Friday when the two summits spent 12 hours for broad talks at the truce village of Panmunjom, Kim told Moon that he prefers Vietnam-styled opening over the Chinese model, the official said.
Vietnam came up many times in their talks, he said. Vietnam initiated economic reforms called Doi Moi in 1986 by adopting open market economy and attracting foreign capital while maintaining its socialist identity. The source said North Korea has been thoroughly studying Vietnam’s economic reforms. Vietnam offers greater liberalization than China and maintains an amicable relationship with the United States.
Kim hopes for dramatic progress in the North Korean economy and thinks the Vietnamese model is more plausible. Since he believes improved relations with the U.S. is pivotal to draw foreign capital, Kim is expected to discuss Vietnam-style opening while negotiating the denuclearization scheme with U.S. President Donald Trump in their upcoming summit meeting, he said.
By Park Ui-myung and Choi Mira
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