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Number of N. Korean visitors to China up 14 pct in Q1

All Headlines 11:30 April 26, 2013

SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The number of North Korean visitors to China increased 14 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier, a report said Friday, indicating bilateral relations seemed undisturbed by U.N.-led sanctions on the hardscrabble country.

About 45,800 North Koreans traveled to China, the North's closest ally, in the January-March period, compared with 40,200 recorded in the same period in 2012, according to the report by the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA), which cited data from China.

The increase is seen as showing that North Korea-China relations have not been disturbed by China's recent shift to take an active role in implementing the U.N. sanctions against the North, adopted following the country's December rocket launch and its third nuclear test on Feb. 12.

The majority of the North Korean travelers to China, 48.3 percent, crossed the border to work in the world's second-biggest economy and 25.8 percent went there for business purposes, according to the report. Only 1.5 percent were on trips to China for tourism.

Out of the total visitors, 78 percent were male North Koreans while 44.5 percent of the total were aged between 45 and 64.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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