Small Signs of Reform in N. Korea

Some minor signs that North Korea may be paying attention to its devastated economy could signal change in the secretive nation. Diplomats and defectors from the authoritarian regime say that leader Kim Jong-un has made changes to the country’s agricultural policies that will now allow farmers to retain some of the produce with the option to sell some of it on the private market—minor and tentative developments that nevertheless hint to capitalism. The country, which has been led by the same family for three generations, has in the past funneled more of its resources toward its military and nuclear ambitions than toward addressing the dire conditions faced by its citizens.