China has begun building a new cross-border bridge to North Korea over the Tumen River, according to China's state media Wednesday, in the latest sign that economic relations between the two nations remain stable despite the North's nuclear ambitions.
The 804-meter-long bridge linking the Chinese border town of Tumen to North Korea is expected to open in 2015 or 2016 "as a new route for bilateral trade," Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities.
Last week, a local media report said China's central government recently gave a final approval to build the bridge, which is entirely funded by China at a cost of 137 million yuan (US$21.9 million).
China has been building another major bridge connecting its border city of Dandong to the North Korean city of Sinuiju across the Amnok River, called the Yalu River in China.
North Korea's series of provocations, including last year's third nuclear test, have strained political ties with its last-remaining ally, China. Still, many analysts believe that Beijing will not put strong pressure on Pyongyang due to the risk of aggravating the current situation. (Yonhap)