July 7 (UPI) -- Freight activity between China and North Korea has declined significantly following a second wave of the novel coronavirus in Beijing and surrounding areas, according to a South Korean press report.
Trucks delivering goods from China to the North at the Chinese border city of Dandong have decreased in number, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Tuesday.
Freight trains that began to resume operations in the spring have not been seen at the border in recent days, a Yonhap source at the border said.
"It has also been a couple days since we have not seen cargo trucks entering North Korea from China," the source said.
The decline in activity comes after Kim Jong Un told members of the Korean Workers' Party during a politburo meeting to guard against relaxing anti-pandemic policies.
North Koreans must maintain "maximum alert," Kim had said, according to KCNA last week.
North Korea could be securing its borders against the coronavirus.
Minju Choson, a North Korean news service, said Tuesday the defense measures include a "complete blockade of the border, airspace and territorial waters."
North Korea previously sealed its border from the outside world in late January, but carefully began to reopen some exchange points in April.
The decline in bilateral trade comes at a time when food prices could be rising in the North.
A source in North Korea's South Pyongan Province told Seoul Pyongyang News on Saturday a "complete blockade" at ports and other points of exchange began to be enforced on Thursday, the same day Pyongyang disclosed information regarding Kim's politburo meeting.
Seoul Pyongyang News' source said the price of cooking oil, seasonings, flour and sugar have been rising.
Diesel fuel and gasoline prices have also climbed since the blockade, according to the report.
China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's international trade.