North Korean cargo train pulls into Chinese town in first border crossing since lockdown

Chinese traders said they expected resumption of regular trade with North Korea as soon as on Monday

Maroosha Muzaffar
Sunday 16 January 2022 11:43
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<p>File: A man sits between binoculars he offers to tourists to watch the North Korean side of the Yalu River from the Broken Bridge, bombed by the US forces in the Korean War and now a tourist site, in Dandong, China's Liaoning province. The bridge connects China’s Dandong New Zone to North Korea’s Sinuiju</p>

File: A man sits between binoculars he offers to tourists to watch the North Korean side of the Yalu River from the Broken Bridge, bombed by the US forces in the Korean War and now a tourist site, in Dandong, China's Liaoning province. The bridge connects China’s Dandong New Zone to North Korea’s Sinuiju

A North Korean cargo train pulled into the Chinese border town of Dandong on Sunday, the local media reported.

This is the first time North Korea has relaxed its border restrictions since it imposed strict lockdown during the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Yonhap news agency reported that a North Korean freight train crossed the Yalu River railway bridge to arrive in the Chinese town of Dandong.

Meanwhile, after reports of the North Korean train crossing, Chinese brokers said they expected the resumption of regular trade with North Korea as soon as on Monday.

One unidentified Chinese commodities trader was quoted as saying by Reuters: “My business partner in North Korea told me on Friday that the land border will reopen to cargo freight on 17 January.”

He added: “By Saturday the whole import-export community here has heard about this and people have begun snapping up carriages to move their cargo over.”

It was reported that the cargo train shall return to North Korea on Monday. It remained unclear what the train was carrying.

North Korea has maintained that the country has zero Covid-19 cases but the international community disputes this claim.

North Korea imposed strict restrictions at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and closed all borders and imposed even domestic travel curbs.

Meanwhile, another unidentified Chinese trader in Dandong told Reuters that she can arrange for cargo to be loaded onto a train in Dandong which is scheduled to cross over to North Korea on Monday.

China has, so far not announced the opening of the border with North Korea officially.

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