n Korea

Software trade show

BEIJING: North Korea on Saturday opened the first trade show for its computer software makers, offering a glimpse into an infant industry that the secretive communist regime hopes will help to revive its famine-wracked economy. North Korean officials said their wares range from accounting and translation programs to video games and animation. They said they

already are selling games in Japan and have joint ventures with software makers in China and Singapore. The closed, regimented North - called part of a global "axis of evil" by US President George W Bush - makes an awkward match for the free-wheeling world of software and the Internet. But leader Kim Jong Il has been said for years to be promoting high technology, especially computers.The North hopes the industry will play a role in rescuing its economy. After decades of mismanagement, floods and drought since the mid-1990s have left it dependent on foreign aid to feed its people.