North Korea Eases Restrictions on Sea Smugglers Amid COVID-19 Dangers

Reported by Joonho Kim for RFA’s Korean Service. Translated by Leejin Jun. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

North Korean internal government directives point to a renewed policy of leniency for smugglers, who have been out of work since the government began cracking down on crossing the country’s border with China to prevent the spread of coronavirus, traders familiar with the orders told RFA.

A trader in Dandong, on the Chinese side of the Sino-Korean border told RFA’s Korean service, “They’re out here saying that North Korea’s government issued an internal guideline to allow maritime trade again.”

“We heard about the order recently, but it was given last Tuesday [March 17],” said the source.

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