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N. Korean tourists to China rise 11 pct in 2013

All Headlines 10:15 January 21, 2014

BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- The number of North Korean visitors to China rose about 11 percent on-year to top 200,000 for the first time in 2013, Chinese government data showed Tuesday, in the latest sign that the flow of people between the allies was unaffected by geopolitical tensions.

About 206,600 North Koreans traveled to China last year, compared with 186,000 in 2012, the data from China's National Tourism Administration showed.

It was the first time that the annual number of North Korean tourists to China exceeded 200,000 since the Chinese tourism administration began releasing data in 2005.

China is North Korea's key ally and biggest trading partner. Beijing has become increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, particularly after the North's third nuclear test last February.

But, many analysts believe that China will not exert sufficient pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear ambitions as excessive pressure on Pyongyang could jeopardize stability in the region.


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