A North Korean economist says the government introduced new economic management methods last month that relax state control of workers' salaries.

Government economist Ri Ki Song says the change introduced April 1 should not be seen as "reform and opening."

He says North Korea is sticking to socialist ownership of the means of production.

Enterprises will be allowed to set salaries from money left over after repaying the state for its investment and putting aside funds for continued operation of their businesses.

Impoverished North Korea last year allowed farmers to keep part of their harvests.

The latest move seems intended to boost production by allowing for companies to give bigger incentives workers.