December 05, 2020


Min Chao Choy

Min Chao Choy is a data journalist for NK News and NK Pro, currently based in Los Angeles.


How a small Chinese city exploded into a major port for North Korean trade

150 companies in Dandong were behind around 25% of Chinese exports to North Korea in 2016 — roughly $750 million

Min Chao Choy September 4, 2020

North Korea’s top seaport eerily quiet after rumors of a closed trade route

August ship tracking data supports NGO reports that the Dalian-Nampho sea route was closed in late July

Min Chao Choy September 3, 2020

Accordions and fake beards: North Korean exports to China fall slightly in July

North Korea’s July exports shrunk compared to previous months, which marked a recovery after a steep COVID-19 crash

Min Chao Choy August 31, 2020

Canned pineapple, chocolate and bus tires: July’s Chinese exports to North Korea

The DPRK bought a more diverse range of items in July, meaning the country might be more confident about its food supply

Min Chao Choy August 26, 2020

Russian exports to North Korea remain stable in June, medicine value rises

Staple items such as flour, oil, sugar and fuel decreased slightly while medicines made a big jump in volume and value

Min Chao Choy August 13, 2020

North Korean ships spotted returning to old coal smuggling routes near Vietnam

The most suspicious ship, the Mi Yang 5, was placed on a banned vessels list by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2018

Min Chao Choy August 4, 2020
Border Controls

North Korean exports to China rise in June after a steep COVID-19 crash

Reported trade rose to over $9 million, marking half of the pre-pandemic average and the best month of 2020 yet

Min Chao Choy July 30, 2020

Chinese food exports to North Korea exceed pre-COVID levels, luxury foods absent

While China increased exports to 500 items in June, no fresh fruit, meat or elite treats were among the 40 food products

Min Chao Choy July 27, 2020

North Korea uses eight fake ship identities for post-COVID quarantine smuggling

False identities are providing cover for DPRK ships on the Nampho-Zhoushan route to smuggle coal, despite sanctions

Min Chao Choy July 21, 2020

North Korean coal smuggling route to China rebounds to pre-COVID activity levels

At least 17 DPRK-linked ships traversed Chinese waters as authorities turn a blind eye to illicit shipping