Posted July. 27, 2017 07:25,
Updated July. 27, 2017 07:36
Despite continued media reports on North Korea’s possible launch of a medium- to long-range missile on July 27, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, the Amnokgang Railroad Bridge linking North Korean city of Sinuiju and Dandong in China was busy with cargo trucks operating across the border. Although it seemed business as usual on the surface, there was an atmosphere of people being mindful about what was going on in the North.
“The Amnokgang Railroad Bridge is a key area where 70 percent of North Korea-China trade takes place,” said one South Korean citizen living in Dandong. “As China’s exports to the North are increasing despite the international sanctions, the trade will not likely be affected by (North Korea’s) missile launch.”
International news agency Reuters on Tuesday cited a U.S. defense official as saying that the United States had detected North Korea transporting equipment necessary for launching an intercontinental or intermediate-range ballistic missile, predicting a missile test-firing within several days. However, a North Korea source in Beijing told the Dong-A Ilbo that North Korean insiders say no written notification of a missile launch had been delivered from Pyongyang yet.
The U.S. government and Congress have declared stronger pressures on Beijing and Pyongyang. Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that the Department of State will soon announce a bill calling for stepping up individuals and entities that aid North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, including those in China. On the same day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.