Private sector overtakes state as North Korea’s top economic actor under Kim -S.Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony to inaugurate the start of construction on the first phase of a project to eventually build 50,000 new apartments, in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released March 24, 2021 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

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SEOUL, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The private sector has overtaken state-led agents to become North Korea’s biggest economic actor over the past decade, a sign of booming markets allowed by leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry, which handles North Korea affairs, released a report on political, economic and social changes during Kim’s 10-year rule, based on data from South Korean and U.N. agencies as well as interviews with defectors.

While the isolated country suffered from coronavirus lockdowns and sanctions over its weapons programmes, private activity has…

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