North Korea names economic reformer as premier

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Associated Press

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 1 at 8:30 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has chosen a new premier who was reportedly sacked as prime minister in 2007 after proposing a U.S.-style wage system.

Monday's announcement of Pak Pong Ju's appointment at a parliamentary session comes after weeks of warlike rhetoric aimed at the U.S. and South Korea over annual military drills and U.N. sanctions.

Pak's re-emergence at the top of North Korea's Cabinet signals that he will play a key role in economic policymaking again.

The move comes as leader Kim Jong Un calls for strengthened economic development. The U.N. says two-thirds of the country's 24 million people face regular food shortages.

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