A woman selling Chinese-made sausages on the streets in front of a downtown Pyongyang apartment building. Photographed in the Peony District in July 2011 by Koo Kwang-ho (ASIAPRESS)

◆ No fertilizers imported for the farming season

The China-North Korea border has remained shut since late January, when North Korean authorities, in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus, completely sealed the border. This month, however, expectations for a resumption of trade have been growing, as North Korea’s economic situation has become truly desperate.

At time of writing, however, China has not allowed for trade to be resumed at the border. Chinese authorities are said to be concerned that, if trade is resumed, coronavirus infections could spread from North Korea into China.

A trade broker living in the Chinese border region of Jilin Province spoke to ASIAPRESS on April 14, citing information from the Chinese customs authorities. He explained, “Trade in Changbai, Dandong, etc is said to be resumed in late May at the earliest. This is subject to change, depending on the coronavirus situation. The authorities are wary of an influx of infections from North Korea after a large number of people returned from Russia with coronavirus.”

North Korea is in desperate need of imported fertilizer and other agricultural materials as it enters the farming season. According to the trade broker, however, “Chinese trading companies are not preparing any shipments of fertilizer or agricultural chemicals to North Korea at present.”
Next page :North Korea eager to resume trade...