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[단독]North Korean freight train “temporary service, not regular service”… Insulin, etc.

A North Korean freight train crossing the Yalu River into Dandong, China, was posted on Weibo, a Chinese social media site. North Korea has been blocking the border between North Korea and China since the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, the resumption of operation of freight trains is the first in about one year and five months.

A North Korean freight train crossing the Sino-DPRK advantage bridge on January 16, 2022 (Source: Phoenix TV Weibo, Weibo)

■ What’s on North Korea’s Freight Train?

on this train Daily necessities such as cooking oil along with emergency medicines such as insulinIt is reported that this was published. According to JTBC coverage, It was confirmed that no items were included in the ‘trade exchange’ between North Korea and China..

Instead, because North Korea has been closed for a long time, a lot of internally necessary materials are included, and it is said that there is a possibility that related items will enter as the Lunar New Year is approaching.

■ ‘Temporary’ not ‘regular’… “It seems to run once a day”

Regarding the resumption of the service, a source told JTBC. “From today (for the time being), daily trains can run once a day”as “It will be a temporary episode, not a regular one.”explained.

In other words, it is difficult to see that trade between North Korea and China has completely resumed, and, first of all, it can be viewed as a trip to meet urgent supplies for the time being.

■ “Resumption of railroad operation, outcome of negotiations between North Korea and China”

A government official told a JTBC reporter “(The resumption of railroad operation between North Korea and China) is one of the outcomes of negotiations between North Korea and China over a period of ten months.”said.

Since North Korea closed its border due to COVID-19, China has continued to negotiate with North Korea on the reopening of its borders. However, the border has not been opened for the past two years because North Korea, which has great anxiety about Corona 19, opposed it.

Analysts say that the reason that the train started operating again this time can be seen as a means that China has prepared a device to reassure North Korea after a long period of discussion between North Korea and China. However, it remains to be seen whether this train operation will lead to easing of the border blockade in North Korea.

The Ministry of Unification said, “It remains to be seen whether the railroad operation between North Korea and China continues, and whether it leads to the easing of the border blockade in North Korea, the recovery of trade between North Korea and China, and the resumption of people-to-people exchanges,” the Ministry of Unification said. I did.

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