China temporarily closes border bridge with North Korea

An official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the bridge was being closed "because the North Korean side will conduct repair work on the iron bridge".
An official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the bridge was being closed "because the North Korean side will conduct repair work on the iron bridge".PHOTO: AFP

DANDONG, CHINA (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Chinese authorities temporarily closed a border bridge that connects Dandong in China's Liaoning Province and Sinuiju, North Korea, on Monday (Dec 11) morning.

The closure of the bridge - dubbed the "friendship bridge" - is scheduled to last for 10 days, the authorities said.

Coinciding with the closure, Dandong customs, which handles about 70 per cent of the trade between China and North Korea, also suspended its operations.

An official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the bridge was being closed "because the North Korean side will conduct repair work on the iron bridge".

However, observers believe China meant to send a warning to North Korea, which has been accelerating its development of nuclear weapons, by limiting bilateral trade.

According to a source close to China-North Korea relations, China initially notified North Korea that the bridge would close in late November. North Korea protested the plan in writing, so the closure had been postponed.