North Korea’s new young leader has told a senior Chinese official visiting Pyongyang that his government wants to develop the economy and improve people’s livelihoods.
Kim Jong-un’s comments are being seen as a sign that he may be looking to shift his country’s priorities away from a traditional focus on the military.
North Korea has asked the UN for urgent food aid in the aftermath of devastating floods last month.
The problem of food shortages has been aggravated by damage to infrastructure and farmland.
Torrential rain and a typhoon killed 119 people, made tens of thousands homeless and destroyed crops on a large scale, according to state media.
One official from Anju north of Pyongyang described the floods as the worst in the city’s history.
Earlier this week the UN said an emergency team was being deployed to the two worst-hit areas to assess the damage.
Some international aid groups have begun gathering supplies and donations.