By: Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein
This Bloomberg story on the resumption of railroad traffic carries an interesting quote by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson:
China says trade via a railroad link with North Korea has restarted, giving a much-needed boost to Kim Jong Un’s battered economy as the neighbors restored a service Pyongyang cut about a year and a half ago due to pandemic fears.
“After friendly consultations between the two sides, freight in goods in Dandong has resumed,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday at a regular press briefing, referring to a Chinese border city.
“This work will be conducted while ensuring pandemic prevention and safety, and to help normal trade exchanges between the two countries,” he added.
Kim’s decision to close borders at the start of the pandemic slammed the brakes on the little legal trade it had with China, his state’s biggest benefactor. It also helped push the sanctions-hit economy into its biggest contraction in more than two decades, with Kim making rare admissions of the country’s difficulties in recent months.
(Source: “China Says Rail-Borne Trade With North Korea Has Restarted,” Bloomberg News, January 17th, 2022.)
This statement certainly does suggest that the resumption is intended to be permanent, and that the two countries will work to restore trade the way it was before the Covid-19 border lockdown.View Original Article