Postcard From Dandong
I have a deep interest in North Korea –probably due to the fact there are so many things to be curious about and not enough answers to the many questions. So when I read the following linked article I found it most worthy of sharing.
Mao Zedong said that China and North Korea were as close as lips and teeth. Here, near the border town of Dandong, they are separated by just a few hundred metres of murky water. But the gulf between them is decades deep.
Most of the world thinks about this 1,400km-long border in terms of economic sanctions. The international community has been trying for years to constrain North Korea’s nuclear-weapons development with trade restrictions, and China is its biggest trading partner (Congo comes a distant second). In March 2016 the United Nations imposed its most severe sanctions yet after the pariah state staged a fourth nuclear test, apparently aimed at making its bombs small enough to sit on missiles. These sanctions were further stiffened in November.
Dandong, an urban backwater in the armpit of Manchuria (see map), is at the sharp end of this sanctions regime. It is just one kilometre from North Korea’s sixth biggest city, Sinuiju, and it is far closer to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, than it is to Beijing. More than two-thirds of Chinese trade with North Korea flows through it. In September America filed criminal charges against a Dandong company and several of its citizens, accusing them of sanction-busting.