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N. Korea opens website for trade, investment

North Korea has recently launched a new website dedicated to external trade and investment in what appears to be a move to induce more foreign investment to aid its economic growth.

The "Foreign Trade of DPRK" website -- DPRK stands for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's full name -- seen on Monday, has multiple subcategories, including trade policy, trade law, a list of North Korean trading firms, investment targets, economic development zones and trade goods.


The new website seems to be in line with the Pyongyang regime's April declaration of a bid to concentrate national resources on economic growth.

It carries detailed introductions to 14 investment targets, including hotels, a power plant, railways and restaurants in the Wonsan-Mount Kumgang international tourist zone on the east coast.

In addition, it said the North plans to remodel the zone's four existing hotels, the Tongchon Power Plant and the Wonsan-Mount Kumgang railway.

It said the country will build four hotels, restaurants, a wind power plant, a commercial complex and sports facilities in the area.

Hotels accounted for half of the North's 14 investment targets introduced by the website, and the remodeling of the Wonsan-Mount Kumgang railway, estimated to cost $323.5 million, is the biggest project.

The Wonsan-Mount Kumgang tourist area was officially declared a special economic zone in June 2014.

"In inter-Korean economic cooperation, North Korea wants to attract private investment into its hotel business the most," a professor at Kyungnam University said.

"The North's leadership has reportedly instructed the implementation of all feasible investment inducement projects."

The professor speculated that the North appears willing to intensively foster its tourism industry after the easing of international sanctions as a result of its denuclearization. (Yonhap)