North Korea's newest "great leader" is NOT a total doofus?
Those measures, according to the reports, reduce the size of cooperative farm units from between 10 and 25 farmers to between four and six. The decrease is critical because it allows one or two households, not entire communities, to plan and tend to their own farms. Farmers still must hit production quotas, but they can keep 30 percent of their crops, up from less than 10 percent. They can sell the rest to the government at market prices, not state-fixed prices, and they can keep (and sell privately) anything exceeding the quota.All I know is we couldn't imagine change in Egypt or Libya, or even China a few years ago, so why not keep an open mind?
The changes do not apply to the entire country; they have been introduced in three rural provinces and took effect in July, according to reports. The changes could not be independently verified because North Korea maintains strict controls on foreign visitors, allowing few to visit poor areas outside the capital, Pyongyang.
I t remains unclear what is driving the government to allow farmers more personal control. The North could be trying to wring more production from its farmers “out of necessity, not out of virtue,” because its centrally planned rationing system is broken, said Victor Cha, a former White House director of Asian affairs. If and when the North’s food shortages ease, he said, the country is likely to retreat.
“Having said that, the more time they have to do this and let the economy function on its own, the better off we all are,” Cha said. “You can say to farmers, ‘Okay, for six months, you can keep 30 percent,’ but the more times you do this, the harder it will be to pull back.” [More]
I believe it will start with agriculture.