Putting lipstick on a pig?
Will they be able to move away from Byungjin - the current plan for simultaneous nuclear weapons and economic development? Unfortunately this is the catch 22 - for there to be a chance for economic improvement, the regime would have to shift resources from its nuclear weapons development to economic development but the regime is highly unlikely to give up any aspect of its nuclear weapons program as it deems the program key to survival and its blackmail diplomacy.
Legalizing some of the market activity may be significant but I would imagine that any new political and economic policies are still going to be designed to protect the survival of the Kim Family Regime as that is the vital national interest.
N. Korea seen to unveil new political, economic model in 2015
SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's Kim Jong-un regime may announce a new policy vision for politics and the economy next year as the country intensifies efforts to open up a new era of the new leader, a report by a local institute showed Sunday.
"There is a possibility that North Korea may propose a new set of governing norms and power structures as it opens up the era of Kim Jong-un next year, in which the three-year mourning period for (late leader) Chairman Kim Jong-il will have been ended," said the report by the Institute for Eastern Studies at the Kyungnam University.
The elder Kim died of a sudden heart problem in December 2011, bequeathing power to his third son, Kim Jong-un.
The current leader is expected to come up with policies that distance him from the late leader, as well as Kim Il-sung, founder of the communist country. Those new policies may be announced sometime before or after the country's much-celebrated workers' party founding day on Oct. 10, the report noted.
"(The country) could suggest a new power structure that suits the Kim Jong-un epoch as the National Defense Commission system was (introduced) for the Kim Jong-il era and the premier system for the Kim Il-sung era," according to the report.
On the economic front, the North is expected to push to legalize a set of new economic measures the country has experimented with in recent years, the report said, adding homegrown market forces have been pressing for economic reform.
"North Korea's efforts to lure in foreign investment to its special economic and economic development zones may continue into the (following years)," it noted.
The North's push for new Kim Jong-un era policy may also include efforts to mend ties with neighbors, the institute said.
"As part of efforts to show off the consolidated power of the Kim Jong-un regime next year, when the country marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman Kim Jong-un could visit China and Russia," according to the report.
The North is also speculated to be seeking to revive the long-stalled six-party denuclearization talks with neighbors, as well as seeking more cooperative projects with Seoul as part of fence-mending efforts, it said.
Still, it is unclear whether the North could be able to resolve the nuclear and human rights issues the country is facing, the report added.