Some interesting antidotes about "economic reforms" in North Korea in this AP report, but the bottom line is the place is still hopeless.
The government has released few details, but foreign aid agencies say that besides letting farmers sell some of their own crops, the reforms have raised wages and cut subsidies.
But most of the country's 22 million people still depend on foreign food aid and are struggling with inflation set off by the economic changes. Aid workers say a bottle of vegetable oil on the open market now costs the equivalent of two months' pay for the average worker.
North Korean officials insist the reforms are working.