N. Korea launches $120 bln economic reconstruction program
SEOUL, April 17 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea has launched a $120 billion project to rebuild the economy, the top executive of a state-run investment group said on Saturday.
Pak Chol Su, chairman of the Korea Taepung International Investment Group, told Kyodo News the five-year project was aimed to rebuild infrastructure in eight cities as part of a 10-year plan to reconstruct the national economy.
There have been deepening concerns over the stability of the reclusive regime since reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's ailing health in 2008.
North Korea became an atomic power in 2006 after it conducted an underground nuclear weapons test. Subsequent economic UN sanctions led to severe food shortages in the country.
Pyongyang recently threatened to boost its nuclear capability in response to what it considered "continuing U.S. military threats and provocations," referring to joint annual exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korean military near its borders.
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