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North Korea Crisis

Border town thrives as China eases up on North Korea trade

Kim's promises of economic development fuel speculative real estate boom

North Korean seafood has become easier to find at markets in the Chinese border city of Dandong. (Photo by Oki Nagai)

DANDONG, China -- North Korean goods and workers are turning up in growing numbers on the Chinese side of the border, in defiance of United Nations sanctions, a sign that Beijing is softening its crackdown on smuggling activity.

"This shellfish is from North Korea," said a seller at a market in Dandong, Liaoning Province, the largest city on the border. "Even though it's subject to sanctions, it's been easier to get lately."

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