Seoul [South Korea], November 4 (ANI/Sputnik): North Korea is finalizing its preparations to reopen the border with China, which was closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to restore rail freight transportation, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, citing a source in the South Korean unification ministry.
"Our assessment is that various preparations for the resumption of goods exchange through train routes are at the final stage," the official said, as quoted by the news agency.
However, he noted that no specific dates could be given. The official added that additional surveillance was required to assess the feasibility of restoring transportation by other means.
According to the source, North Korea has gradually increased its trade with China since March, but its level is insignificant compared to the scale before the COVID-19 pandemic.
On October 28, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea reported that Pyongyang was in talks with Beijing and Moscow to resume rail traffic across the border. The NIS stated that train operations connecting Sinuiju and Dandong could resume as early as November.
According to Yonhap, North Korea recently reopened its maritime routes to obtain medicines and other assistance from international organizations.
In March, the Presidium of North Korean Supreme People's Assembly adopted a law on compulsory disinfection of all imported goods. After that, disinfection installations were built in the city of Sinuiju on the border with China. In April, a special export processing zone was also reportedly built in Musan County on the border with China. It can presumably be used to process goods transported across the border in both directions. (ANI)