Summary of What Is It Like Doing Business with North Korea?

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For Chinese people living by the border, North Korea is more than a headline or a caricature of a totalitarian regime headed by a dictator. For them, North Korea is an everyday reality, a neighbor that simultaneously presents opportunities and causes throbbing migraines. China provides North Korea with most of its food and energy supplies and accounts for more than 90% of North Korea’s total trade volume. As North Korea seems to reach out to the world and focus on economic development, reporter Yao Yun of Da Xiong Fan, a wemedia account covering business, investigates into how the Chinese who interact most often with North Koreans at the border look at these recent events. Yao shines a light on life at the border and recommends taking what North Korea says with a grain of salt. The article comes across as biased toward the Chinese and will make some readers curious to hear the North Korean perspective. In the meantime, getAbstract recommends reading this article while you wait.

About the Author

Yao Yun is a lead reporter and writer for Da Xiong Fan, a wemedia account offering business insights and financial news. 



In April 2018, North Korean president Kim Jong-un announced that he would prioritize the development of the nation's economy and met with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea. These historic events particularly affected the city of Dandong in Liaoning Province of China. Dandong lies at the border between China and North Korea, separated by the one-mile-wide Yalu River. In less than 20 days, real estate prices in Dandong’s New District – the China–North Korea trading hub – skyrocketed. Dandong residents used to refer to the area – which a bridge will connect directly with North Korea – as a “ghost town.” Now, it’s a hot spot for real estate investments.

The real estate buyers – foreseeing abundant business opportunities with a soon-flourishing economy – are mostly from Zhejiang or Guangdong province. Their excitement is in stark contrast with the nonchalant attitudes of Dandong residents who chuckle at the optimism of these Southern businesspeople who know nothing about the neighbor across the river. Dandong residents have been doing business with North Korea for a long time. As of 2014, the city had more than 600 registered cross-border commerce companies interacting...