Bus plunge in North Korea kills 32 Chinese tourists
Published: 08:48 PM, 23 April 2018
Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans were killed when a bus plunged from a bridge in North Korea, Chinese officials and state media said Monday.
Two other Chinese nationals were injured in Sunday`s accident south of the capital Pyongyang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing.
Lu said China was investigating the cause of the accident and had deployed a team, including medical experts, to North Korea to assist with the emergency rescue and treatment operations.
The ministry provided few details but China`s official Xinhua news agency reported later that the bus had fallen from a bridge in North Hwanghae Province on Sunday night.
China was informed about the accident on Sunday night and its embassy personnel in Pyongyang rushed to the scene, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
President Xi Jinping urged China`s foreign ministry and the embassy in North Korea to take `all necessary means` to handle the accident and called for an all-out effort to help the injured and deal with the deceased, according to Xinhua.
The vast majority of foreign tourists to North Korea are Chinese, with the Cold War-era allies sharing a long land border and operating flights between the two countries.
Western visitors to the North once averaged around 5,000 a year, but numbers have been hit recently by a US travel ban Americans accounted for around 20 percent of the market and official warnings from other countries.
Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are believed to visit the North every year, with many crossing via train through the Chinese border city of Dandong. For some, North Korea provides a window into what Communist China may have looked like decades ago.
Chinese tourism to the North has continued even though Beijing has enforced a slew of United Nations sanctions over Pyongyang`s nuclear weapons program.
North Hwanghae province lies south of the capital Pyongyang and stretches to the border with South Korea. More recently, the area hosted a manufacturing complex operated with the South.
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