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N. Korea to set up economic zone on islands on border with China

All Headlines 22:07 June 06, 2011

SEOUL, June 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea announced Monday that it will develop two islands on the border with China as an economic zone, a possible move to experiment with Chinese-style economic development.

North Korea "decided to set up the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone in order to boost the (North)-China friendship and expand and develop the external economic relations," the North's Supreme People's Assembly said in a decree carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Quoting the decree, the KCNA said North Korea will wield its sovereignty over the zone,

The two islands that sit at the estuary of the Yalu River have long been tapped as a joint economic development zone between North Korea and China.

The North's announcement comes on the heels of leader Kim Jong-il's study tour of China's spectacular economic development in May. The week-long trip was Kim's third in just over a year.

China's Premier Wan Jiabao said Kim was invited to learn from China's economic development strategy.

China has been trying to lure North Korea to embrace the reform that lifted millions of Chinese out of poverty and helped Beijing's rise to the world's second-largest economy.

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