DANDONG, China, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- North Korea state television continued to air various footage showing North Koreans enjoying Lunar New Year festivities while commemorating a recent satellite launch, but the atmosphere at the frosty China border supplied a different picture of conditions inside the country.
Pyongyang aired scenes of North Koreans commemorating the universally condemned launch with fireworks Monday, and on Tuesday uploaded a Chosun Today video on YouTube, showing young people enjoying the holiday in traditional dress.
Young women were seen jumping rope at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang or partaking in other games, including a dance around a maypole.
Girls dart under a banner that reads, "We are happy." Young men fly kites, and a woman says on camera the celebrations also are in honor of Kim Jong Un.
But at the China-North Korea border, a different kind of atmosphere prevailed, and the banners that commemorated the satellite launch were nowhere to be seen, Yonhap reported.
In Dandong, the Chinese city where 70 percent of bilateral trade takes place, residents said they worried about radioactive contamination due to North Korea's ongoing tests of nuclear weapons.
Dandong is 25 miles away from the satellite launch pad in Dongchang-ri, in North Pyongan Province.
A Dandong taxi driver with the surname Sun said the North's provocations were causing the two countries to become increasingly distant, and that Pyongyang's actions were diminishing hopes of residents who had anticipated Dandong could become a "second Shenzhen," a hub of economic growth that could develop should North Korea choose a path of reform.
China has also tightened trade at the border, and inspections have increased, a local source said.