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The Jian-Manpho bridge: another failed attempt at economic integration or one more nail in the coffin of "maximum pressure"?

As recent fieldwork interviews and press reports suggest, the opening of the Jian-Manpho bridge linking China and the DPRK reflects an increased Chinese willingness to openly engage with the North Korean economy. While the borderlands have a long history of failed economic integration projects, the simultaneous opening of a third economic cooperation corridor near Manpho (in addition to Sinuiju and Rason) and a sudden rise in bilateral agreements might mean Beijing’s patience with “maximum pressure” is wearing thin and that Chinese businesses want to reestablish ties with Pyongyang before Seoul does.

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