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Chinese businessmen arrested for smuggling across the border with N. Korea

Chinese businessmen arrested for smuggling across the border with N. Korea

Posted July. 18, 2018 07:49,   

Updated July. 18, 2018 07:49


It was revealed on Tuesday that the Chinese government recently arrested 10 local businessmen, who engaged in smuggling activities across its border with North Korea. According to multiple sources, the United States has played a role in pushing China, which used to condone smuggling activities, to crackdown on illegal trade in the border area with North Korea.

“Ten Chinese businessmen doing business with North Korea recently got arrested on the charge of smuggling in in Dandong, Liaoning province bordering the North’s Sinuiju, and others in Dalian and Jilin got arrested, too,” Chinese sources said. In Yanji, an ethnic Korean businessman was reportedly arrested for violating a trade ban in the Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone. “It appears the Chinese authorities, which had condoned smuggling activities across the China-North Korea border after the bilateral relations began improving from a few months ago, have changed the guidelines on how to handle smuggling activities,” a source said. Before North Korea began negotiating a denuclearization deal, China launched a large-scale investigation, at the end of last year, on local businessmen doing business with North Korea.

It seems the United States, which has been monitoring illegal transshipment activities in open waters via satellite, put a pressure on China to strengthen its crackdown on illegal trade across the border area. China’s latest intense crackdown on North Korean workers, who are working in China with a certificate of stay instead of a work visa, could be mainly because the United States has remonstrated with Chinese authorities through diplomatic channels, according to sources.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com