Chinese authorities have ordered all North Korean businesses within its country to close, and it was confirmed that many North Korean restaurants in cities including Beijing, Shenyang, Dandong, Shanghai, have announced their closing.
The closings come after an order last year to shut down North Korean businesses in China within 120 days of September 12, which was when the UN passed additional sanctions against North Korea.
Hong Chang-jin has more in Shenyang.
On the morning of Jan. 8, the day before the closing of North Korean businesses, a North Korean restaurant in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, near the border between China and North Korea, suspend its business upon announcing its closing.
This North Korean restaurant normally had its female employees stretch for about ten minutes at the restaurant entrance prior to opening, but only a business closing notice was placed on the entrance and no employees showed up.
Restaurant personnel stated, “We have decided to close down temporarily for interior construction work,” and added, “We do not know when we can resume business.”
There are about ten North Korean restaurants in Shenyang and it was revealed that other restaurants were pressured by the authorities to suspend their business.
The Ryugyeong Restaurant in Dandong, Liaoning Province recently suspended its business, and the North Korean restaurant Songdowon, near the Amnokgang River, is still in business but was reported that it will soon return to North Korea as the visas of its female North Korean employees will expire.
North Korean restaurants such as the Cheonryu Restaurant and Goryeo Restaurant in Shanghai closed down and moved out over the past month.
The North Korean restaurants, which once were operating in about ten locations in Shanghai, have now mostly moved out except for a few that the North Korean government operates directly, such as the Pyongyang Koryo Restaurant.
Three North Korean restaurants in Hangzhou and two North Korean restaurants in Suzhou were reported to have closed down as well.
There were more than 100 North Korean restaurants in China and they have been reported to be struggling recently due to pressures such as visa extension denials for its female employees, business suspension notices, and joint venture suspensions.
It appears that the Chinese authorities will clamp down on any business in violation, after the expiration of the order to close down.
Hong Chang-jin reporting for Yonhap News TV from Shenyang
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