Over the past 35 years, China's strong and sustained output growth - averaging more than 9.5 per cent annually - has driven the miraculous transformation of a rural, command economy into a global economic superpower.

North Korea's system is failing. Its economy has been stagnating since 1990, with annual per capita income, estimated at US$1,800, amounting to slightly more than 5 per cent of South Korea's. Meanwhile, a food shortage has left millions starving. In order to survive, the world's most closed economy will have to open up.

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North Korea