North Korean trucks can be seen heading to the Chinese side of the border on the Sino-North Korean Friendship Bridge. (Daily NK)

Yanggang Province’s party committee recently gathered members of trading companies in the province to discuss their tasks and future direction in regards to the country’s self-reliance-based economic policies.

“The provincial party committee gathered members of trading companies at the committee’s meeting room in early April to hand down orders from the party regarding trade and to discuss issues that they must take note of during future trade activities,” a source in Yanggang Province told Daily NK yesterday.

According to the source, the committee requested those gathered at the meeting room to ensure they properly understood the party’s changing trade policies while they conduct trade-related activities.

The committee emphasized that the most important task for traders is to help establish an orderly economic management system from the top to bottom while revitalizing the economy on the basis of self-reliance.

“The party committee pointed out that it was not rejecting trade activities that had taken place over the past period, while noting that it was enormously important that the economy be revitalized by avoiding sole reliance on imports and for efforts to be placed on satisfying demand for daily necessities through domestic means,” the source said.

The committee also pointed out that it would be impossible to satisfy demand for all equipment and raw materials needed for production and consumption through domestic means, and that this issue must be gradually improved, he added.

In short, the committee told those gathered that emphasis on self-reliance does not mean that the country must be completely self-reliant. Accordingly, trade must play a supporting role in bringing in things that are urgently needed on a domestic level.

“The provincial party committee said that Yanggang Province and other areas on the [China-North Korea] border, rely completely on trade and smuggling, and that all production was halted and troubles were created in the lives of the people following the closure of the border due to COVID-19,” the source said. “[The committee further pointed out that] trading companies have been stuck in a delusion, simply waiting for the border to open, while just complaining and failing to achieve progress for more than two years, even going around claiming that once the border reopens everything will be resolved.

“The committee emphasized that it was keenly aware of this situation and stated clearly that trading companies need to conduct a total overhaul of their administrative and management systems to act in a supporting role for the self-reliant economy, and that trade company employees need to receive ideological training,” the source added.

The committee also declared during the meeting that there will be a shakedown in the ranks of trading companies in the province by the end of the first half of this year, and that human resource and labor departments need to thoroughly report specifics about this to the committee.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to

Read in Korean

Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to