North Korea, China Opens Fourth Border Crossing Fitted With Radiation Detectors
China and North Korea added a new border crossing over the Yalu River. Reports said that the new border crossing is fitted with radiation detectors in time with talks between the United States and North Korea over disagreement for nuclear sanctions relief.
The new border in the northeastern city of Ji'an was opened on Monday. According to the statement of the city on its website, the border complements with the three existing ports with North Korea. The statement said that after three years of unremitting efforts, the China-North Korean Ji'an-Manpo Highway Port was officially opened.
The cost of building the project is estimated at 280 million yuan and they are expecting that around 500,000 tons of goods and 200,000 people will cross through the new port every year.
The sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea in 2016 and 2017 crippled the trade between China and North Korea, two Cold War-era allies.
China continued to trade with North Korea despite the international sanctions which lifted the trading of goods with North Korea.
The new border crossing is expected to increase the bilateral trade and tourism between the two nations.
China remains the biggest trading partner of North Korea.
Chinese customs data showed that North Korea's export to China decreased by more than 90 percent since 2016. It is $213 million last year.
During the summit with the United States President Donald Trump in February, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's major agenda is to settle deals that will give relief to the sanctions. The meeting, however, failed as the two leaders disagreed on walking back North Korea's nuclear weapons program in exchange for loosening sanctions.
During the opening ceremony of the border, the first 120 tourists crossed. Chinese tourist visiting North Korea increased as relations between the two nations improved in recent years.
The statement of the city said that the crossing also has a nuclear radiation detection gate. One of China's concerns is any fallout in North Korea's nuclear activities. In 2017, an earthquake rocked Jilin after a test of a massive bomb in the border.
China's trade route to North Korea usually passes through the Chinese Border city of Dandong to the south. The city planners in the city started working on a Dandong New Zone in 2012 as they plan to connect the city to the North Korean city of Sinuiji. But after it was created, it never opened.