North Korea seeks help opening up?

There was an interesting story in the German press a week ago claiming that the North Korean authorities had asked some German specialists to help develop a framework for attracting foreign investors. From Der Spiegel’s English site:

According to an article to be published on Saturday by the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the communist regime in Pyongyang is preparing to open up the country’s economy to foreign investors. Moreover, it has enlisted the assistance of German economists and lawyers to lay the groundwork for the move.

“There is a master plan,” one of the economists involved in the plan told the paper. “They want to open up this year.” The FAZ did not identify the economist, but noted that he works at a respected German university and that he had advised other governments in Asia in the past.

Whether comes to anything is another matter, although news there suggests some tentative steps towards change. In terms of what might happen, this is worth noting: