China has stopped providing electricity to North Korea’s Bidan Island, the Washington based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on March 14.
Bidan is a river island located in the Shindo-gun area of the North Pyongan province. Along with nearby Hwanggumpyong Island, it is one of the few places in the DPRK where citizens have 24-hour access to the electricity
However, an unnamed source living in North Korea told RFA that Bidan Island no longer has access to the Chinese electricity, and that no one knows when and why it stopped.
Another source told RFA that China is not providing the electricity to North Korea for free, and there might be a dispute between the two countries over bill payments.
“In a narrowly stove-piped economic structure like North Korea’s, problems at the top may lead to stasis and paralysis lower down,” Chris Green, Daily NK international editor told NK News.
He added that shifting economic sands in Pyongyang might be having an impact on bilateral trade dealings.
“However, it is too early to say that this story, if it is true, signifies friction between the two sides,” Green continued.
The electricity supply to the Bidan and Hwanggumpyong Islands is generated by the Jinshan thermoelectric power plant in Dandong, near the Chinese – North Korean border.
Bidan has a large copper mine, which up until now had been using the electricity from the Chinese mainland to extract the valuable metal.
Featured Image: Jo-Marshall, Creative Commons
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