N.Korea Keeps Pushing Special Economic Zones

North Korea remains committed to opening its economy, a senior official claimed Sunday, despite the ouster of leader Kim Jong-un's reform-minded uncle Jang Song-taek.

Yun Yong-sok, a senior official at North Korea's Economic Development Association, told AP in Pyongyang on Sunday that the North will "push ahead with an ambitious plan to develop new economic zones to attract foreign investment."

Jang was the architect of the sputtering project and the association is responsible for supporting any investors in the special economic zones.

It tried to woo investors to the zones at an international seminar in Pyongyang in October.

Yun said Jang's execution should not be perceived as signaling a shift in North Korea's economic policies or efforts to attract foreign investments.

He said Jang and his cronies "caused great harm" to the North's economy, but stressed that there is "no change" in policy.

Pyongyang announced last month that it would develop 13 economic zones that capitalize on the different strengths of various parts of North Korea. Yun stressed that Jang's execution must not impact investments by Chinese investors, who are "crucial" to the success of the zones.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 16, 2013 10:29 KST