Chinese city bordering North Korea takes drastic steps to stop coronavirus spreading from neighbor
15:16 JST, June 9, 2022
SHENYANG, China — Authorities in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, alarmed by an increase in novel coronavirus cases, are cracking down on cross-border activity involving neighboring North Korea.
The city in Liaoning Province is offering rewards for tips on smuggling activity through which residents of China and North Korea might come into contact, including smuggling by sea and exchanges of goods through the border fence.
The plan was announced June 1 and reportedly will continue through the end of the year.
The Dandong city government has called on residents to stay on China’s side of the Yalu River, which forms a border with North Korea, and avoid touching the water or anything that washes ashore. Residents living near the border have even been told to keep their windows closed “as much as possible” on days when the wind is blowing from North Korea. These and other drastic steps appear to paint North Korea as a potential source of coronavirus infections.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing multiple sources, reported May 19 that coronavirus cases were detected among several North Koreans detained in Dandong who had fled their home country.
The Dandong government denied having any information related to the Yonhap report.
A coronavirus infection case was confirmed in the city on May 24, however, and the total number of infections had climbed to about 180 as of Tuesday.
A diplomatic source indicated to The Yomiuri Shimbun that North Korea “was the source of the spread of infections.”
This represents a serious state of affairs for China, which has pursued a zero-COVID policy that refuses to tolerate even a minor outbreak of the virus.
Liaoning Province’s health authorities have stated that Dandong “faces a complex situation.” The city had just contained an outbreak that started in late April by enforcing a lockdown.
These latest developments likely will affect the restart of the suspended rail freight shipments between China and North Korea.
"WORLD" POPULAR ARTICLE
Japan-sponsored bridge opens in South Sudan, raising hopes for peace and development
Ukrainian widower takes twin toddlers west after losing wife in Russian shelling
Lithuania seeks Japan’s cooperation in convoy to escort Ukrainian grain
Concerns raised about language skills of Southeast Asians coming to work in Japan
Railcars used as shelters for displaced people in Ukraine
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan, Finland confirm unity in dealing with Russia
- Mangaka Fujiko Fujio A dies at 88
- China’s aircraft carrier drills near Japan aimed at around-the-clock attack capability
- As wheat prices soar, Japanese food industry pushes rice flour as alternative
- Fukushima lab releases images of ‘highly likely’ UFOs