SEOUL, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- North Korea's major economic initiatives under the current leader Kim Jong Un bear much resemblance to those implemented in the early stages of economic growth and reform in China and Vietnam, according to a South Korean analyst at a forum Wednesday.
Professor Yang Mun-su of the Seoul-based University of North Korean Studies said some of Kim's economic initiatives are much more reformative than his predecessor at an international symposium on North Korea, hosted by South Korean media outlet Hankyoreh, on Wednesday in the southern port city of Busan.
Yang said Kim has pushed ahead with his economic plans to achieve a self-sustaining economy. Kim has stressed that the country should be able to manufacture basic materials and goods.
He also introduced a socialist-centered company management system, which encourages state companies to run independent management strategies to maximize profits. He designated 21 areas as specially targeted districts for economic development.
"These look very similar to earlier stages of Chinese and Vietnamese economic reform and opening," he was quoted as saying in the Hankyoreh report.
North Korea will adopt aspects of Vietnam's economic reform and China's growth model that would be right for its own economic condition and create its own model, he said.
"North Korea would favor Vietnam's economic reform, driven by the country's communist party. It's the right model for the North, which wants to secure both its leadership and achieve economic growth," said Yang.
Vietnam drove its economic growth as a small country by attracting foreign investments through friendly economic relationships with other countries. North Korea would find the Vietnamese model more suitable to achieve its economic goal, said Yang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly said that he wants to follow the path of Vietnam's economic development at a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before.