August 13, 2018 12:48
North Korean restaurants in China that shut down under sanctions against North Korea are preparing to reopen, Radio Free Asia reported Friday.
Morangwan restaurant in Shenyang closed down in January, but now the interior is being redecorated, a trade source in Dandong told RFA.
The redecoration was the official reason the restaurant gave for the closure. But in fact the Chinese government denied visa extensions to the restaurant staff, the source added. After three recent summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, visas were reissued or extended.
When it joined international sanctions last September, Beijing ordered North Korean businesses in China to pack up and leave within 120 days. Many North Korean restaurants there closed.
Another North Korean restaurant in Shenyang, Pyongyaynggwan, has stayed open despite the sanctions but had trouble making ends meet until late July, when it was once again bustling, he added.
In Dandong on the border, Pyongyang Koryogwan and Pyongyang Ryugyong Restaurant reopened immediately after the first North Korea-China summit in March and have been earning hard currency for their regime, according to a source there.
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