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N. Korea, China to launch border trade zone in October

2015/08/25 19:18

BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and China will launch a border trade zone in October, China's state media reported Tuesday, in the latest sign that Pyongyang and Beijing are trying to increase economic cooperation despite strained political ties.

The Guomenwan trade zone in the Chinese border city of Dandong, where more than 70 percent of bilateral trade between the two nations is conducted, would cost a total investment of 1 billion yuan (US$156 million), state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The trade zone will be launched in October, when the two nations jointly hold an annual trade fair, the report said.

"Residents living within 20 km of the border will be able to exchange commodities at the marketplace with people from the DPRK (North Korea) and enjoy a duty-free policy if they spend less than 8,000 yuan (US$1,250) per day," the report said.

North Korea has been under sanctions by the United Nations due to its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

China is North Korea's economic benefactor and diplomatic backer, but their political ties remain strained, particularly after the North's third nuclear test in early 2013.

kdh@yna.co.kr

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