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Lankov said that in his visit this week Mr. Kim would be trying to find ways to defuse the sanctions’ pressure without openly flouting them. This could be done by sending North Korean workers to China on nonworkers’ visas, for example. Mr. Kim has promised his people dramatic economic growth, and China is well positioned to advise the North on how to transform a rural economy into a modern one, experts said. A delegation of North Korean provincial leaders visited China recently to inspect major cities, where they saw glimmering skyscrapers and high-speed trains. Mr. Kim has yet to visit most of China, but even its most advanced cities might pale in comparison to Singapore, where he spent a night inspecting the skyline and visiting a high-end casino complex. China may propose some easing of sanctions and the opening of “a back door” to economic assistance, said Kim Byung-yeon, a professor at Seoul National University and author of a recent book, “ Unveiling the North Korean Economy. ” But China should not risk its international reputation by going too far, Professor Kim said.
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