For a lengthy time, the brand-new Yalu bridge led native China essentially to the center of i do not have anything in north Korea. The two countries are now transforming that, together satellite images present – and also fueling hopes for an economic boom in the region.


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“Economy native above” is a collaboration in between WirtschaftsWoche and LiveEO. This is a translation of the original write-up written in German by “Thomas Stölzel“. Accessibility the original write-up here.

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After an ext than ten years of construction and also years the interruption, the largest overland artery between China and North Korea is around to open. This is shown by satellite images of the three-kilometer-long brand-new Yalu Bridge near the Chinese border city the Dandong detailed by LiveEO.

Chinese real estate developers had currently built huge high-rise districts approximately the leg years back in the hope that there would certainly be lively border traffic below in the future. Together a result, speculators have repeatedly thrust up real estate prices there. Through the completion of the link, really hopes are now growing for a long-awaited financial boom because that the region.

Around 70 percent the trade in between China and also North Korea currently passes with the border city that Dandong, which has a populace of around 2.5 million. Items were previously transported over the old China-Korea Friendship Bridge, i m sorry has limited capacity. The steel structure has actually only one rail track and one roadway for vehicles, as the satellite image listed below shows. The attach has additionally been largely closed since the outbreak the the Corona pandemic.

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Old China-Korea Friendship Bridge 12.10.2021: The Old China-Korea Friendship leg is the most important land transport artery between China and also North Korea therefore far. It has only one track and also one roadway for vehicles. Images: LiveEO/Skywatch

Now wishes are pinned top top the strategically important brand-new Yalu Bridge. Satellite images display that job-related on it had already begun in at an early stage 2011 and the framework itself was completed in 2014. However, the four-lane road constructed by Chinese builders on the North oriental side simply ended in nowhere. And so it stayed until 2019.


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Border flow Yalu in between China and also North Korea 29.10.2010: there is quiet no sign of a bridge on the Yalu, the border river between North Korea and also China.
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Border flow Yalu in between China and also North Korea 28.03.2013: huge piers now rise right into the sky. The very first parts of the roadway can additionally be glimpsed.
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Border river Yalu between China and also North Korea 29.09.2013: In the meantime, the cables have actually been tensioned and the roadway of the leg is slowly growing throughout the river.
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Border flow Yalu in between China and also North Korea 06.07.2015: The leg is largely completed, yet the North oriental side lacks a connection to the road network.
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Border river Yalu in between China and North Korea 18.09.2019: even several years later, nothing has readjusted in the truth that the bridge has not yet been connected.
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Border flow Yalu between China and also North Korea 12.10.2021: The bridge is now associated to the roadway network ~ above the North korean side. As quickly as China opens its border to traffic, it deserve to be used.

Then phibìc Korea suddenly ongoing the work, as the footage above shows. Reportedly with Chinese help: already in 2017, the south Korean net newspaper “Daily NK” had actually reported the a Chinese businessman had actually agreed come invest about 45 million united state dollars in the completion of the road on the North korean side. In the meantime, the four-lane road leads every the means to the adjacent city the Sinŭiju, to which the old Friendship Bridge also leads.

North Korea wants to do Sinŭiju the center of an international trade zone, including the area roughly the bridge, which has so far been more agricultural. Time is pressing. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un explained his country’s economic situation as “gloomy” in a speech simply a couple of days ago. Shortly afterwards, the UN even warned the a starvation catastrophe.

The pandemic has largely carried goods traffic and also tourism to a standstill. Follow to media reports, North korean Taedonggang beer, among the country’s few export hits, has actually been unavailable in China because last year. In the contrary direction, the flow of about 200,000 Chinese tourist traveling to north Korea dried up every year. Entry via Dandong was considered specifically popular.


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On the Chinese side of the border, the case is less dramatic economically. But here, most of the apartments in the huge brand-new apartment blocks displayed in the satellite images over are quiet empty. This was reported in might by the Hong Kong newspaper south China Morning Post. The long standstill in construction had crippled really hopes for a rapid economic rise in the region, but it likewise drew speculators. When North korean leader Kim Jong-un and South korean President Moon Jae met because that a summit in 2018, prices below rose massively in ~ days.

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Something similar happened once Kim Jong-un met us President Donald trump in Singapore a year later. According to media reports, buyers inside wall up to obtain their hands on apartments – because that example, in the Singapore City high-rise development, right next to the bridge. It will soon be just 5 minutes to phibìc Korea native here.