N. Korea, China resume cross-border train trade

SEOUL: North Korea and China have resumed cross-border freight train trade, Seoul said, ending a five-month suspension linked to Covid-19.

North Korea has maintained a rigid blockade since the start of the pandemic, with even trade with China – the North’s economic lifeline – slowing to a trickle.

Cross-border freight train services were suspended in late April, after China’s border town of Dandong reported Covid outbreaks, reports said at the time. Pyongyang confirmed its own Omicron variant outbreak soon after.

“We believe the freight train service has resumed between China and North Korea,” an official from Seoul’s unification ministry, which handles relations with the North, told AFP yesterday.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that after “friendly consultations” the neighbouring countries had decided to restart railway freight.

“The two sides will continue to strengthen cooperation, (and) actively ensure the safe and stable operation of railway freight,” said Wang Wenbin, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman. — AFP

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