North Korean women on the banks of Amrok-gang(Yalu River).Taken by ISHIMARU Jiro, July 2017

◆ Large-scale smuggling carried out in the open

"All kinds of goods are coming in, it’s simply that they don’t pass through customs. I’ve never seen such large-scale smuggling operations carried out in the open."

An ASIAPRESS reporting partner in the northern part of Yanggang Province was astonished with what he found while investigating smuggling activities between North Korea and China. Smuggling primarily takes place in the upper region of the Amrok-gang (Yalu River), near the Chinese-North Korea border, while official trade is conducted downstream from Hyesan City, at the Changbai–Hyesan International Bridge.

The reporting partner said, "Cars are on standby near the Amrok-gang (Yalu River) during the day and move back and forth after sunset and until dawn. What stands out are the transport vehicles – buses and trucks – coming from China. Dozens of them cross over. They carry electronics and clothes. In return, minerals and lumber are shipped to China."

The export of industrial machinery and transport vehicles to North Korea has been banned by "Resolution 2379", adopted by the UN Security Council last December.

"It appears that all smuggled vehicles are being sold in the cities of Pyongyang, Nampo and Chongjin. Though I don’t know why, they say white and silver colored cars are acceptable, but not black ones."

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