Move strikes a blow at source of hard currency for the beleaguered regime
A North Korean man (bottom R) sells items to Chinese tourists on the Yalu river near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong in Liaoning Province on September 5, 2017. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
In China’s latest attempts to rein in North Korea and its expanding nuclear program, China has halted all tours into the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
Chinese tour operators based in the Chinese border city of Dandong—where most tours bringing Chinese tourists to North Korea start out—were informed by the Dandong Tourism Bureau on Nov. 7, the day before U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official visit to China, according to anonymous sources who spoke with Reuters.
During Trump’s two-day trip to Beijing, talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons is expected to top their agenda. The U.S. has been pressuring China to do more to rein in its neighbor and ally.
Tourism is one of the few remaining ways North Korea earns hard currency, as the United Nations has ramped up sanctions on the country over the past year, curbing key exports such as coal, iron, and textiles. China had signed onto the latest round of United Nations sanctions in September, which included oil restrictions. According to energy news website Oilprice.com, close to 90 percent of North Korea’s documented crude oil supply comes from China.