TRADE FAIR: North Korea is once again hosting an international trade fair, which opened Monday in Rason in the far northeast, a city seeking to sell itself as friendly to foreigners and a potential trade and tourism hub.

ITS OWN ZONE: Rason is one of North Korea's newly revamped special economic zones, governed by separate laws and rules giving local officials more autonomy, and easier to access from the Chinese city of Yanji than from the North Korea capital of Pyongyang.

THE REASON: The fair is an indication of how keen the insular nation is to attract foreign investment to spur its listless economy.