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Seafood prices collapse in North Korea as sanctions take hold

North Korea is a key market for some Chinese processors.

Seafood prices in North Korea began to collapse almost immediately after the international community imposed strict new economic sanctions, including a ban on seafood exports, on a defiant regime that tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, reports The Globe and Mail.

On Monday, North Korean fresh squid were being offered for barely a third of their value last week, and even then “nobody wants to buy it,” said Cui Yanzhi, a Chinese businessman who has operated a seafood processing plant in northeastern North Korea.

Following the sanctions vote on Saturday, he has shut the plant down and is scrambling to empty it out, bringing as much as he can across the border to Hunchun, a thriving Chinese trading town with dozens of seafood markets selling North Korean goods.

“We have to rush,” he said. 

Chinese customs officials had not yet formally received notice to shut down the seafood trade. But he is convinced that will happen soon. 

“Since China voted to support the sanctions, they will definitely be implemented,” he said.

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