China Temporarily Closes China-North Korea Friendship Bridge

By Marie (Flickr: And closer…) [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, an official said that China is closing its main road connection with North Korea temporarily.

Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that the or China-North Korea Friendship Bridge or the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, that is located across the Yalu River at the Chinese city of Dandong will be temporarily closed while North Korea repairs the approach road on the country’s side.

Geng stated that “after the maintenance, the bridge will reopen for passage.” However, he gave no exact date for the reopening or any other details.

The closure of the bridge comes after Air China, the state-owned airline, suspended flights on Tuesday between North Korea and Beijing because of a lack of demand, deepening the isolation of the North amid mounting sanctions by the United Nations.

Beijing is the only significant ally of North Korea. However, it has grown increasingly frustrated regarding its missile and nuclear tests that have brought a threat of chaos and war to the northeastern border of China.

Last week, in what was perceived as a bid to improve relations, the head of the International Department of the ruling Communist Party travelled to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

Only a few details have been released regarding his itinerary, including whether he met with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. The trip followed a visit to Beijing earlier this month by Donald Trump the President of the United States who renewed calls for China to step up pressure on North Korea to put an end to its nuclear and missile programmes.