January 17, 2022 11:57
A North Korean cargo train arrived in the Chinese border city of Dandong on Sunday, according to sources, apparently signaling a resumption in cross-border business after the North sealed its border at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The train, consisting of 13 carriages, is scheduled to return to the North laden with Chinese-made daily necessities and medicines.
"To my knowledge, the train didn't carry anything out of North Korea and intends to transport products from China," a source there said. "It's unclear if the train will run regularly."
The North shut its borders in January 2020. Fertilizer and other supplies from China have been shipped into North Korea, but there has been a sharp decline in other trade.
Trade between the two countries stood at US$2.81 billion in 2019, but plummeted 80 percent to $540 million in 2020 and another 50 percent to $270 million in the first 11 months last year.
Shipping by sea takes a long time and waters off North Korea's Nampo port freeze in winter, so there have been forecasts that the North would eventually resume railway transport with China first.
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