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North Korea Wondering To reopen its China border for much-needed trade

 As North Korea ordered that its borders to the outside world be shut in January 2020 due to concern that the virus could be brought into the country from China. Beyond the elite in the regime, health care for the vast majority of the 25.8 million residents of the North is not very good and hospitals would have been ill-equipped to cope with a major outbreak of the virus.

There were the two trains were caught on camera in railway sidings in Dandong, although the freight cars were covered, and it was not clear what they were carrying before they returned over the Yalu River.Railway engineers supervising the trains were wearing full protective overalls, underlining Pyongyang’s ongoing nervousness over the coronavirus.

Chinese customs data for December indicate that goods worth just $320 million (€282 million) were shipped to North Korea in 2021, the lowest figure for more than a decade.

“We know that there are severe shortages of food and other everyday necessities in the North, but I do not think we can interpret these two trains as evidence of a general reopening of the border,” said Ahn Yinhay, a professor of international relations at Korea University in Seoul.

“It is clear that the government there is very afraid of the coronavirus, especially the new omicron variant because it spreads so easily, and they know it will cause serious problems if it does penetrate their borders. They are doing everything they can [to keep it out],”

Source : DW

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