|One of China's richest businessmen has been selected to lead a new, capitalist-style special administrative region in communist North Korea. Yang Bin, 39, told a news conference in the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Monday that he would be chief executive of the special financial and commercial zone of Sinuiju, on the border with China.|
`The free trade zone, to be built in the northwestern corner of the country, would have its own legislature, more than half of whom will be foreigners, and its own courts with a European as chief judge, Yang said.
The main businesses in the zone will be industry, finance and processing and US dollars will be used as its currency. Gambling will also be permitted, and punters from China are a key target – with casinos illegal on the Chinese mainland.
A wall will be erected to divide the capitalist region from the rest of the hitherto isolationist country, and 500,000 current residents of the area will be forced to move to other parts of North Korea over the next two years.
The North Korean government issued statements last week that it wanted to turn the region, currently a poor agricultural and industrial area, into an international financial, industrial and tourist hub. The Special Administrative regions in China - Hong Kong and Macau – are seen as a model for the North Korean government. Macau in particular is seen as a model for the gambling industry in the region.