North Korean crisis halts foreign investment

April 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

SEOUL, April 12 (UPI) -- The escalating crisis in North Korea has led Chinese companies to put their investments on hold.

Chinese businesses are North Korea's most significant investors.

The freeze extends to tourism.

An informed Chinese source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Chinese tourist traffic across the border from Dandong to North Korea came to a halt on Thursday, as "authorities told travel agencies in Dandong on Tuesday to temporarily halt visits to North Korea in view of the tensions on the Korean peninsula." For the present, single day bus tours from Dandong in China to North Korea's Sinuiju along with train tours that go as far south as Pyongyang and Kaesong have been suspended, Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Friday.

South of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, foreign investor confidence remains strong in both the stock market and direct investment.

Yanbian University lecturer Yoon Seung-hyun remarked, "As North Korea halts production at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex and issues war threats every day, Chinese businesses and regional governments are halting all investments and taking a wait-and-see attitude."

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