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N. Korea showing little sign of easing border control: unification ministry

North Korea has shown little sign of lifting restrictions imposed on the operation of trains across its border with China to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the unification ministry said Monday.

Early in the day, the Daily NK, a local news website specializing in North Korea, reported that the North and China have reached a deal to resume the operation of international trains moving across their border starting Friday.

"We are paying close attention to relevant situations, but based on the result of monitoring up until this weekend, there have been no marked changes," Yoh Sang-key, the ministry's spokesperson, said during a regular press briefing. "We will continue to keep tabs on the matter for a longer time."

North Korea has reported no COVID-19 outbreak, but it has maintained strict restrictions on the movement of people and goods across the border with China since early this year as part of efforts to stem the spread of the highly contagious disease.

Such measures seem to be taking a toll on the North's economy, as they have been hampering its imports of food and other key materials from China. The North has not reported on any action of easing its border control. (Yonhap)