February 21, 2024

In border regions, Chinese traders see profit in N. Korea

'North Korea is definitely on the verge of opening up; I can feel it when I'm there.'

YANBIAN –  Li Delin, an ethnic Korean Chinese businessman, lives in the small Chinese border city of Hunchun –– a seedy but quickly developing town full of Russian shoppers on weekend spending sprees looking for a cheap deal on Chinese electronics and clothes.

“Look at this road, it goes straight to Russia,” Li says. “If you turn right here you’re in [North] Korea. It’s great here, there are three border crossings –– two [North] Korean ones, and a Russian one. Everything’s close.”