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Rail freight service between China and North Korea to renew in days — Radio Free Asia


Rail freight shipments between the northern Chinese language metropolis Dandong and North Korea’s Sinuiju will resume subsequent week, offering a significant lifeline of products to the pariah state, North Korean sources mentioned. 

“Beginning round Aug. 8 or 9, the worldwide freight practice between Sinuiju and Dandong will resume its operation,” an official from a buying and selling group in North Pyongan province advised RFA on Thursday. 

“There was an order from the Central Committee for all buying and selling firms to organize import and export supplies to load,” he mentioned, referring to the Central Committee of the Employees’ Occasion of North Korea.

North Korean authorities proposed the resumption of service to the Chinese language authorities as a result of the nation faces financial difficulties attributable to a critical scarcity of provides, he mentioned.

North Korea depends on commerce and support from China, its important ally and buying and selling associate. Restrictions on the movement of products from the nation throughout COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns devastated North Korea’s already chronically unstable financial system.

Freight practice service between Sinuiju and Dandong, the hub of North Korea-China commerce, was halted in August 2020 due to the pandemic. It resumed on Jan. 16, however was closed by the Chinese language once more on April 25 after outbreaks in each international locations. 

Maritime commerce with North Korea was additionally halted at the moment however was partially resumed in mid-July after repeated requests from authorities in North Korea. 

Trading firm representatives, together with ones from corporations within the North Korean capital Pyongyang, are stationed in Sinuiju, which sits throughout the worldwide border of the Yalu River from Dandong, the supply in North Pyongan mentioned.  

“They have been ordering items from their Chinese language counterparts to import development supplies and primary meals. They’re making an attempt to safe international foreign money to pay for the imports,” he mentioned.

A North Korean supply in Dandong, with information of the state of affairs, additionally advised RFA on Thursday that the Dandong-Sinuiju freight practice service was about to renew.

Since yesterday, a Dandong-based logistics firm has been recruiting truck drivers to move items to the Dandong freight station and manpower to load items on the freight practice in preparation for the resumption of Dandong-Sinuiju freight practice operations,” he mentioned.

The logistics firm should gather primary meals akin to sugar and flour, iron merchandise, and development supplies ordered from North Korea from throughout China and transport them to Dandong freight station, mentioned the supply, who declined to be named in order to talk freely.

Moreover, Dandong quarantine authorities will immediately handle the freight station and the trains that return to China after transporting items to North Korea, he mentioned. 

Chinese language staff who load and unload items on freight trains in Dandong will need to have obtained COVID-19 vaccinations, the supply added. Employees shall be examined every day for the virus and may proceed on the job if their outcomes are unfavourable.

The freight practice will function 15 to 17 vehicles at a time and can go on to the Uiju quarantine facility, previously the Uiju Airfield, close to North Korea’s northern border with China, the supply mentioned.

Translated by Claire Shinyoung Oh Lee for RFA Korean. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.




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